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Worship Leader Vicky Beeching
UK News

Vicky Beeching 'third most influential gay person'

She came out as gay in August and has since campaigned to change the Church's stance on gay people.

The Independent newspaper has placed her third in its 'Rainbow List' behind Labour politician Michael Cashman and Journalist and campaigner Paris Lees.

Diver Tom Daley, Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins and popstar Sam Smith all feature in the table.

After opening up on her sexuality she said: "What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love.

"I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.

"When I think of myself at 13, sobbing into that carpet, I just want to help anyone in that situation to not have to go through what I did, to show that instead, you can be yourself - a person of integrity.

"The Church's teaching was the reason that I lived in so much shame and isolation and pain for all those years.

"But rather than abandon it and say it's broken, I want to be part of the change."

After coming out she faced fierce criticism from some who said her lifestyle went against the teachings of the Bible.

Ed Shaw is same-sex attracted but chose to remain celibate.

He works with the group Living Out which looks to support Christians who experience same sex attraction and says the Bible is very clear on the issue of homosexuality.

He told Premier: "There's a clarity on the issue of whether gay sex is right or wrong throughout scripture at every stage.

"It's one of the building blocks of scripture, that marriage is between a man and a women in a way that isn't the case when it comes to divorce or women in leadership.

"We're not at liberty to change what the Bible says about the morality of gay sex."

The newspaper says Ms Beeching collected the most nominations for this year's list.

She said despite the 'crazy threats' people had made, her coming out was the right decision.

"The positive things have been the emails pouring into my inbox from young people who are Christians saying that they've come out as a result of reading my interview and I just think that is so moving and so meaningful," she said.

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