More than 370 leaders from 35 countries representing 10 religions have signed a declaration that bans LGTBQ+ persons from undergoing ‘conversion therapy’ on Wednesday.
Religious leaders from across the globe have signed a historical declaration that will disallow LGTBQ+ persons from undergoing ‘conversion therapy’ practices. The declaration is said to be launched at a conference funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Wednesday,16 December 2020.
Among the dignitaries that signed the declaration is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among eight other archbishops, former Catholic president, Mary McAleese, more than 60 Rabbis, Senior Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists.
Other leaders include Paul Bayes, bishop of Liverpool and co-chair of the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives who stated:
“For too long, religious teachings have been misused – and are still being misused – to cause deep pain and offence to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex. This must change.”
Dilwar Hussain, the chair of New Horizons in British Islam also stated that he was pushing Muslim organisations to engage with LGBT+ justice.
Hussain stated: “There’s a lot of talk in Muslim communities of equality, prejudice, discrimination . . . If we’re going to be serious about addressing issues of justice and injustice in our society, we’ve got to have an argument that’s morally consistent.”
The declaration aims to end the criminalisation of LGTBQ+ people and place a ban on conversion therapy practices – which attempts to change, suppress or erase a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
The declaration further acknowledges that “certain religious teachings have often, throughout the ages, caused and continue to cause deep pain and offence” to LGBT+ people, and have “created, and continue to create, oppressive systems that fuel intolerance, perpetuate injustice and result in violence”.
According to The Guardian the conference was funded by the UK government after failing to act on the pledge to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in 2018.