In many different cultural contexts across the world today, religious arguments are all too often used to justify violence and discrimination, and to endorse hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people.
These voices are not the majority, but they are often the ones that are most heard. This fosters a false image of religious and spiritual beliefs as antagonistic to the creation of a world in which people have the right to love whoever they want to.
But other voices do exist everywhere and also within these same religions many people object to the use of religion to justify hatred and rejection and sometimes even violence, crimes and bloodshed.
For many years now, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia has provided the backdrop for initiatives from progressive religious groups. Indeed, while many religious voices will not support any progressive vision on sexual and gender diversity, most will not upfront support homo/transphobia either. As speaking out against violence and hate provides a ‘minimum’ platform of dialogue, many find in the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia an entry door for new alliances. In various countries, LGBT Christians have been organising church services, sometimes even in cathedrals. Elsewhere, vigils have been organised to commemorate the victims of hate crimes. Conferences, media broadcasts and television roundtables have provided an avenue for progressive religious leaders to address public opinion. Progressive groups have blogged, posted and tweeted.
The IDAHO Committee invites all progressive religious voices to use the Day to take whatever action they feel appropriate. We invite all to share information about their plans, so we can share this with the rest of the world and connect like-minded people together, create more momentum, and show the world how vibrant and diverse we are.
If you have any doubts, queries or requests for information and ideas – and also so we might help to give your event more visibility – please feel free to contact Zara at: contact@dayagainsthomophobia.
The team will be updating regularly about news and events here at our home site – tagged Global Prayer Initiative – and on our facebook and twitter pages. You can also follow updates and events using the hashtag #IDAHOprayer.
The IDAHO Committee team