What started out as an idea, turned out to be a very successful and well attended preconference at this year’s Pan African ILGA Conference that was hosted in Gaborone Botswana between the 31st of May and 1st of June at the Grand Palm Hotel and International Convention Centre.
During the course of the two-day preconference delegates who attended, participated in four overall panel discussions that followed four key themes. These themes were: Faith and Sexuality; HIV, Faith and Human Rights; Families, Allies, Youth and LGBTIQ people of Faith; Funding and LGBTIQ Faith Issues. The Interfaith Preconference was led by a joint partnership between our GIN Secretariat and the House of Rainbow office. Together these two organisations facilitated the coordination of the preconference together with 13 other partner organisations who supported the preconference in various ways. These partner organisations also participated as panelists, moderators and attendees to the preconference. Between the two days there were an average of 50 – 70 people who attended per day.
Between the panel discussions, delegates had breakaway sessions to discuss varies strategies and current work that is taking place in each of their localities. There were a number of opportunities for delegates to share best practices as well as challenges that still exist when it comes to LGBTIQ+ faith advocacy and work. AIDS Accountability shared a video preview of their project Destabilizing Heteronormitivity which gathered information from a number of religious leaders who were also present in the room.
We were fortunate enough to be visited during the first day by Victor Madrigal-Borlioz, the UN Independent Expert on SOGIE who was very positive about the importance of faith and the role that it can play in promoting the human rights of LGBTIQ++ people.
Due to the overwhelming positive response to the Interfaith Preconference at PAI, a number of the partner organisations have made a commitment to add their support and more resources for future preconferences that take place at PAI.
If you would like to contribute or find out more about upcoming Interfaith activities that are happening in your region, please do contact the GIN Secretariat between Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm CAT. We also look forward to sharing activities that you would like to share with us. You can email Pierre at firstname.lastname@example.org or Victoria at email@example.com or call our Secretariat line on +27104461990.