According to a press release published on Wednesday, more than 370 people of the world’s major religions have signed the manifesto, calling for an end to violence and criminalization against LGBT + people.
The announcement marks the launch of the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT + Lives, supported by leading figures From 35 countries including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen and former President of Ireland Mary McClay.
So-called conversion therapy, also known as reassignment treatment, relies on the notion that sexual orientation can be altered or “cured” – the dominant therapy in Britain, the United States and elsewhere An idea maligned by associations.
Although they remain legal in many countries, including the country, the current government of the country is committed to ending this practice.
In July 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he would fast-track these plans, and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office funded an online conference on Wednesday, marking the commission’s launch.
Jane Interne, director of the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT + Lives, said the announcement was a milestone.
“We have never had such a powerful, clear and supportive statement from so many leaders,” Ozne told CNN.
He called on politicians to ban conversion therapy.
He said, “I don’t think any government can be deaf to the crisis of the survivors.”
“We need to act with some urgency,” Ozne said.
Preachers also released a video of the announcement, featuring senior religious leaders such as the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool.
In a press release, Bayes stated, “For a very long time, religious teachings have been abused and are still being abused – which cause deep anguish and crime for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex.” Are made. “
He said the commission’s purpose is “to provide a strong and authoritative voice among those who wish for the purity of life and the dignity of all.”
The announcement calls for an apology for the harm that some religious teachings have done to LGBT + people and calls for everyone to be given “the extraordinary gift of inclusiveness and our diversity”.
The Reverend Canon MFO Tutu van Firth, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, were among the speakers at Wednesday’s conference.
“There are many LGBT + people who suffer from emotional injury and physical violence at the point of death in countries around the world,” she said in the press release. “For this reason, we are joining forces as faith leaders to say that we are all beloved children of God.”
Malta – a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea with a population of over 400,000 – made history in 2016 by implementing a nationwide ban on conversion therapy.
And in May, Germany’s parliament approved a ban on conversion therapy for minors, and for adults who were forced to undergo controversial treatment, threatened or cheated.
However, in April, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and the Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG) stated that conversion therapy is still used in more than 69 countries.
The organizations called for a global ban on the practice, which they classify as torture.
In June, the United Nation Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Victor Medrigal-Borlos, also called for a global ban on the practice.
CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed to this report.