A whole lot of Non secular Leaders Name for Finish to L.G.B.T.Q. Conversion Remedy
In a sign of unity that aims to fight for the rights of LGBTQ people, more than 370 international spiritual leaders have signed a declaration calling for a global ban on the controversial conversion therapy.
The declaration also asked that nations find a way to end the criminalization of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It also called for an end to violence against LGBTQ people.
The pledge was signed by religious leaders from more than 35 countries. It was led by the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT + Lives initiative to “reaffirm the sanctity of life and the dignity of all”.
“We recognize that certain religious teachings have been misused over the centuries to inflict deep pain and insults on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people,” the commission said in a statement. “That needs to change.”
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond is one of the most prominent religious leaders to have signed the declaration. M. Tutu from South Africa, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, president of the Academy for Jewish Religion, California; the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, Minister General and President of the United Church of Christ; and Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, president of the Alliance of Baptists.
Conversion therapy is a discredited practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have condemned the practice.
The practice in the past included rigorous methods such as institutionalization, castration and electroshock therapy.
Twenty states in the US have bans on conversion therapy, said Christy Mallory, director of state and local policy at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The institute is a think tank that deals with research into sexual orientation and gender identity. Most states that have passed bans are more supportive of LGBTQ rights, she said.
“This puts the most vulnerable LGBTQ people, especially children, at higher risk in those states that don’t have laws,” she said.
New York, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, and Puerto Rico all have laws banning conversion therapy for minors.
In 2019, Israel’s Minister of Education, Rafael Peretz, advocated exposed therapy for young gays.
The first European country to ban this practice was Malta, a Mediterranean island state, in 2016.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to ban the controversial therapy in the summer, according to the BBC, calling the practice “absolutely hideous”.
All laws in the United States deal with bans on conversion therapy by licensed health professionals and the practice of minors, Ms. Mallory said. But she added that these laws leave a loophole for religious or spiritual providers to continue the practice.
The promise of religious leaders calls for an end to “all attempts to change, suppress, or delete a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression” – and prohibit the practice. The pledge could help fill the practical void with religious leaders, Ms. Mallory said. She said this reflected a growing trend for spiritual leaders to support the rights of LGBTQ people more generally.
The promise read: “We ask forgiveness from those whose lives have been damaged and destroyed under the pretext of religious education.”