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Church's stance on homosexuality drives gay people to commit suicide, Christian charity claims

(Wikimedia Commons/popmisa)Marchers at the London Pride 2010 holding a banner saying, "Some Christians are gay."

A major Christian charity based in London has warned that the teachings of the church regarding homosexuality is causing mental health problems among gays, and it is driving them to commit suicide.

According to a report published by the Oasis Foundation, every Christian denomination in Britain, with the exception of the United Reformed Church, has held positions that are discriminatory against people with same-sex partners.

The charity asserted that the Christian churches must take a "disproportionate share of the blame" for the mental health issues experienced by people who identify as gay, bisexual or lesbian.

"It is no secret that the negative stance taken by the Church, and so many individual local churches, has a hugely distressing impact on large numbers of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and leaves countless numbers of them living lives of forced secrecy and dishonesty," said Oasis Founder Rev. Steve Chalke, as reported by the Telegraph.

"Tragically, it is also common knowledge that the resultant anguish and distress often leads to spiritual, mental and physical harm, and in the worst of cases to people making the desperate decision to take their own life," he continued.

The report noted that homosexual and bisexual people are up to 12 times more likely to suffer mental health problems than heterosexual people. It asserted that the mental health problems were caused by discrimination and a "sense of societal inferiority."

It further noted that churches were one of the biggest sources of direct discrimination against LGBT people and the biggest contributor of negative views about same-sex relationships.

The report pointed out that at least 74 percent of the signatories to the campaign against same-sex marriage were Christians. Additionally, at least 54 percent of the MP's who voted against gay marriage in 2013 identify as Christians.

The study was released in part as a response to the report by the House of Bishops which reiterated the Church of England's opposition to same-sex marriage.

Oasis Foundation recommended that the Church of England should fund a research project on the issue and contribute more money to mental health churches. It also suggested that liberal members of congregations must find effective ways to present their inclusive position to their local communities.

The charity also encouraged liberal churches to sign up to the "Open Church charter" which commits to provide support and sanctuary for LGBT people.

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