GIN-SSOGIE co-hosted a UN Side event on “Religious Communities Affirming LGBTIQ people around the world”

From left: Fr Thomas Ninan, India, Ankit Bhuptani, India, Yulia Dwi Andriyanti, Indonesia, Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla, South Africa, Rev Dr Brent Hawkes, Canada, Tuisina Ymania Brown, Samoa / Australia, Victoria Petitjean, GIN-SSOGIE.

Human rights organizations, including LGBTIQ groups and faith-based actors, alongside State actors and UN representatives, have been working steadily for many years to promote inclusive faith-based messages. As the issues of faith and LGBTIQ rights have become highly politicized within the UN system over a number of years, regressive faith-based messages have been increasingly utilized against the promotion of human rights for all individuals, including women and LGBTIQ individuals. This regressive, exclusionary rhetoric has been shared by both secular and religious actors including at the UN and the UN is increasingly being utilized as a platform for political and economic contestation, including by anti-rights religious groups.

GIN is working against this rise of religious fundamentalisms, around the world and at the UN. And as part of this work, GIN co-hosted a side event during the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council with the aim to amplify the efforts of people of faith and share the realities lived by individuals and communities from different contexts around the world, particularly from Key Affected Contexts, and most especially, inclusive religious experiences and interpretations.

Rev Dr Brent Hawkes, the Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla, and Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on SOGI.

This side event aimed at  undermining this narrative which assumes an opposition between faith and religion and human rights, and to reduce the dominance of regressive, exclusionary narratives in the faith space at the UN.  It highlighted how different religious institutions, from different traditions and contexts, have been including and affirming the rights of LGBTIQ people around the world.

Until now, these stories have not been heard well enough, and we are seeking to bring this message to a large audience comprised of State delegations, UN representatives, and CSO and faith leaders. 

A job well done! Victoria Petitjean, the Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla (GIN Global Ambassador) and Toni Kruger-Ayebazibwe.

We collaborated with multiple faith-based and human rights organizations and NGOs in the organization of this side event on religious communities and their fight for the dignity, respect and rights of all individuals including LGBTIQ people.

You can watch the video here, on our You Tube channel.