LGBTIQ faith advocate Anthony Venn-Brown gets Order of Australia

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Photo: Anthony Venn-Brown/Facebook

LGBTIQ faith advocate Anthony Venn-Brown has received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours on Monday.

Venn-Brown received the OAM for his services to Australia’s LGBTIQ community. For years he has worked within Christian churches of many denominations to advocate for acceptance and respect for LGBTIQ Australians of faith.

After decades in the church, Venn-Brown came out as gay in 1991 and resigned as a minister as a result.

In 2004, he released his first book A Life of Unlearning. In it, Venn-Brown recounted undergoing harmful “gay conversion” therapy and his years-long struggle to reconcile his homosexuality with his Christian faith.

Later, he founded the organisation Ambassadors and Bridge Builders International in 2012. ABBI works to promote understanding and respect between LGBTIQ Australians and churches in “a respectful and non-confrontational way”.

Anthony Venn-Brown ‘humbled and honoured’ by OAM

Anthony Venn-Brown said he was “deeply humbled and honoured” by the Order of Australia Medal.

“So many in my LGBTIQ tribe work tirelessly to create equality by overcoming ignorance and misinformation,” he said.

“We do it, not for recognition, but because the work is important and often lifesaving. This acknowledgment today is way beyond my expectations.”

Venn-Brown continues to present lectures and calls on the nation’s churches to accept and welcome their LGBTIQ congregants.

“I’ll continue to work towards the day when LGBTIQ people are no longer rejected or tolerated within faiths, but their contributions accepted and celebrated,” he said.

Hundreds of Australians, from scientists and activists to athletes and politicians, were also named on the 2020 Honour Roll.

Later this year, Venn-Brown will receive the insignia at a ceremony at Government House in Sydney.

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