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TORONTO, June 26, 2009 – Members of the International Raelian Movement taking part in Sunday’s Toronto Gay Pride Parade will represent the only religion to affirm that homosexuality is genetically based.

“Since personal growth is one of the beautiful values of our Raelian philosophy, it’s important to free oneself from inhibitions and bias and develop an open attitude about sexuality,” said Raelian Priestess Guide and Spokesperson Diane Brisebois. “Raelians will be carrying this message during the parade.”

Brisebois said that Rael, founder and leader of the International Raelian Movement, was the first religious leader to say that sexual orientation is genetically determined.

“He is also the only spiritual leader to continuously defend sexual minorities everywhere in the world, insisting that they be respected and enjoy the same rights as the majority,” Brisebois added. “Rael strongly encourages gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgenders to live their sexuality openly, since such openness is an essential part of full enlightenment.”

But Canada has a long way to go in terms of accepting sexual minorities, Brisebois said.

“There’s been a bit of progress, with somewhat less prejudice being shown towards them, but overall, the subject remains very much taboo,” she explained. “Traditional religions demonstrate strong closed-mindedness on this subject, so they’re responsible for a lot of hypocrisy and guilt. By denying reality, they force members of sexual minorities to either live their lives as a lie or pay a heavy price for acknowledging their preference.

“Rael, on the other hand, tells consenting adults to explore, to dare to be themselves, and to stop giving such importance to what others may think.”

Brisebois added, “It’s time for individuals to stop putting themselves in drawers. When we live a beautiful sensual and sexual relationship with someone, why should we attach so much importance to the gender of that person? Isn’t it the essence of love to simply feel good together?”

She said Raelians participating in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade will celebrate differences of sexual orientation openly, and with their customary joie de vivre.