ILGA Working
Party on
Ideology and

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List of potential
speakers from
around the world

ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) Working
Party on Homophobia, Ideology and Religion

What is the major challenge confronting ILGA-affiliated groups worldwide?

    In the turbulent 1991 meeting in Mexico, ILGA leaders from around the world were asked what
    their biggest obstacle was. Without exception they replied in various ways, "Religion!" "And
    what are you doing to address the problem?" Most replied "Nothing, because I'm not
    religious." ILGA leaders and the world we seek to transform have come a long way since 1991
    - but not far enough!

    By action of the 1994 ILGA conference in New York City, the ILGA Working Party on
    Homophobia, Religion and Ideology was established. Prior to each World Conference a one-
    day pre-conference is held to work with ILGA leaders in order to tackle more effectively "our
    biggest problem." The last pre-conference was held in 2001 prior to the World Conference in
    Oakland, California. Due to travel costs the pre-conference was not held prior to the 2003
    World Conference in Manila, the Philippines. However, we are planning to assemble for the
    ILGA international meeting in December 2005 in Switzerland. Also, regional ILGA meetings
    may at times plan related activities. Feel free to contact any of the WP members if you are
    interested. The last program for the 2001 Oakland conference follows, which shows the scope
    of our concerns.

Plans for 2001 Oakland Pre-Conference meeting of ILGA Working Party on
Homophobia, Religion and Ideology

    In collaboration with outstanding leaders and experts in the Bay area (Oakland - San
    Francisco), and from around the world, the Working Party is planning another all-day pre-

    YOU ARE INVITED to come and participate. Even if you are "not religious." Whatever your
    convictions - ideology, philosophy, religion, spirituality. Maybe in your area you think the
    biggest problem is now the Republican Party. Would you remain ignorant and do nothing
    about it because you're not Republican?

    Learn how to help the very diverse members in your community surmount their problems in
    this area, whether you share their general convictions or not. Learn how to network with a
    wide variety of individuals and groups and build politically effective alliances. Lay hold of some
    of the enormous resources available in this area (free literature, innumerable website links),
    as well as videos and books for sale at bargain prices from all over the world. Put your most
    difficult questions to scholars, authors and leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds in the
    friendly ILGA context. Roll up your sleeves and join the Working Party for the continual
    stimulus of interaction with some of the most informed and wisest experts internationally in
    each area.

    An opportunity too great to miss -
    Homophobia, Religion and Ideology, ILGA Working Party Pre-Conference
    9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 2001, Oakland, CA.

    LET US KNOW what specific ideological and religious challenges you believe should be
    addressed, what you would recommend, and how you would like to participate.

    Tom Hanks, Buenos Aires, Working Party Contact Person:
    Working Party website: (clic on ILGA WP for documents)
    Hal Kooden, ILGA, New York:
    Pete King, ILGA, Oakland:
    Luiz Mott, WP, Brazil:
    Georg Trettin, WP, Germany:
    Jorge/George González, WP, Paris:
    Doug Torr, WP, Johannesburg, South Africa:
    Dennis/Busangokwakhe Dlamini, WP, South Africa:
    "Samuel", Asia, WP:

    Homophobia, Religion and Ideology, ILGA Working Party Pre-Conference
    Program, 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 2001, Oakland, CA.

    9-9:30 am Registration, distribution of resource materials

    9:30-10 am Introductions and Orientation

    10-11:15 am First Panel: Homophobia, Patriarchal Cultures & Religious Fundamentalism
    Roman Catholicism
    Protestantism, Mormonism
    Eastern Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism)
    New Age
    Secular faiths (Freudianism, Marxism)

    11:15-11:45 am Coffee break

    11:45-1:00 pm Workshops and focus groups: exploring the problems, dialogue with

    1-2 pm Lunch break

    2-3:15 pm Second Panel: Common Problems of International Significance
    Patriarchy, sexism, male control
    Family ideologies/idolatry vs. a praxis and theology of friendship
    Pseudo science: the "Ex-Gay" movement; pseudo freudianism
    Ideological manipulation of AIDS myths
    The Closet: fears, the silence that = death, oppression, violence

    3:15-4:30 pm Workshops/groups: Strategies, Resources, networking, alliance building
    Women in religion, feminist theologies - response to patriarchy and sexism
    Sacred texts: exegesis, hermeneutics, multiple discourses, diverse audiences
    Liberation theologies, Marxist critique of oppression
    LGBTT theologies
    Gender studies and university/seminary groups
    Sexology and sex education (homes, schools, religious communities)
    Asceticism: prayer, fasts, sit-ins, cathedral protests, street politics
    Outing (Outrage) vs. privacy rights
    P-FLAG, parents, friends, allies, alliance building

    4:30-5:00 pm High Tea

    5-6:30 pm Plenary: Reports, Recommendations, Restructuring of WP

    Tom Hanks (The Rev. Dr.), ILGA WP,

    Homophobia, Religion and Ideology, ILGA Working Party Pre-Conference
    9 am – 6:30 pm, Aug. 25, 2001, Oakland, CA.
    Possible Speakers and Workshop/Group Leaders (*/** = have indicated interest)

    From the BAY AREA:

    William Countryman, Ph.D., author of DIRT, GREED AND SEX, the main work on
    sexuality in the New Testament. Prof. NT, The Church Divinity School of the Pacific,
    Berkeley. Episcopal.

    Daniel Boyarin, Ph.D., author of many works on Judaism, sexuality, and the New
    Testament (Paul), important for combating homophobia in both Jewish and Christian
    traditions (and I suspect relevant to correcting traditional homophobic interpretations of
    the clobber texts in the Koran, but I don't know Arabic to confirm it). Taubman, professor
    of Talmudic Culture, the University of CA, Berkeley. Jewish. boyarin@uclink4.berkeley.

    Elias Farajaje-Jones, Ph.D., African American author of many significant works
    combating homophobia, expert on the orthodox traditions (Greek, Russian, etc.).

    Rembert (Buddy) Truluck, Th.D., author of STEPS TO RECOVERY FROM BIBLE
    ABUSE, former professor in Southern Baptist College.
    His website combating homophobic use of the Bible has had more than 2 million hits.
    Ph.D. from Louisville Southern Baptist seminary, then MCC pastor.

    **The Rev. Jim Mitulski, until recently, pastor of the MCC church of San Francisco, in
    the Castro district, author of "Ezekiel Understands AIDS: AIDS Understands Ezekiel" in
    TAKE BACK THE WORD, edited by Robert Goss and Mona West. In some years at the
    height of the AIDS pandemic Jim, himself a gay man living with HIV, celebrated more
    than 500 funerals. /


    Victoria S. Kolakowski, lesbian transsexual attorney, candidate for ordination in the
    MCC, author of several pioneering articles and book chapters on transgendered
    persons and religion.

    *Mel White, director of Soul Force, author of STRANGER AT THE GATE.
    Former ghost writer for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Also expert (and long time
    victim) of Ex-Gay charlatanism.

    The Rev. Jimmy Creech, eloquent Methodist straight ally, who lost his church over his
    struggle to perform same-sex unions. Now chairman of Soul Force board.

    Malcolm Boyd and Mark Thompson, LA, authors of many key books in this WP area.

    MCC headquarters in LA has countless resource persons who may be willing to
    The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, author of OUR TRIBE: QUEER FOLKS, GOD, JESUS
    AND THE BIBLE. Pastor of the MCC mother church. Also Troy Perry, Don Eastman and
    many others.

    From QUEBEC
    **"Déborah and Judith" (pseudonyms du livre) Rejane Cliche and Nicole Hamel,
    Quebec, CAN. Authors of new French book on empowering lesbian relationships within
    a Roman Catholic context, L’amour entre femmes dans L’Eglise catholique. Et CIEL
    parlait, ce serait l’ENFER? (Varennes, Quebec: Ed.AdA). French or English.

    From CANADA
    Donald L. Boisvert, Ph.D. Montreal. Author OUT ON HOLY GROUND, (Pilgrim 2000).
    Gay spirituality. French/English. Roman Catholic.

    From USA

    WP member: Mark Carlson, Ph.D., St. Paul, MN
    Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and Women's Studies, Temple

    Bruce Bawer, author of two controversial books, A PLACE AT THE TABLE and
    STEALING JESUS: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity (1997). Episcopalian.

    Chris Glaser, Presbyterian, Yale Divinity School grad, denied ordination since 1978,
    author of many best selling gay books in the religious area.

    **Michael Adee, Ph.D. National Field Organizer for More Light Presbyterians,
    experienced activist in Presbyterian trench warfare to challenge homophobic policies
    and control of the denomination (Presbyterian General Assembly meeting in Louisville
    in June may finally approve gay ordination).

    The Rev. Mona West, Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary),
    author and editor of numerous Biblical commentaries from a queer perspective. Pastor
    of Spiritual Life at the Cathedral of Hope, MCC in Dallas, the largest gay and lesbian
    congregation in the world.

    The Rev. Michael Piazza, MCC. Senior pastor at Cathedral of Hope, author of four
    books, including HOLY HOMOSEXUALS (Sources of Hope, 1997) and THE RAINBOW
    FAMILY VALUES (Sources of Hope, 1995).

    Also the Rev. Paul Tucker, recently returned from pastoral visit to the MCC's in Buenos
    Aires, Argentina.

    The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Preacher to Harvard University. African American. Author of
    best-selling THE GOOD BOOK (1996). First openly gay commencement speaker to
    address a graduating class at a mainline theological seminary (Princeton - the inviters
    didn't plan it that way, but our subversive Divinity had better plans).

    Saul M. Olyan, Brown University. Jewish. Co-Editor of SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND
    works on the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, including a key article (1994), now book
    chapter (1997), showing that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 only condemn male-male anal
    sex (in an epoch before condemns were available - hence in effect teaching safer sex).
    Olyan's conclusions have now been accepted by the leading orthodox Jewish Bible
    scholar, Jacob Milgrom, and mainstreamed in his new 3000 page 3 volume Anchor Bible
    Commentary on Leviticus. I suspect that Olyan's careful exegetical approach to the
    infamous Leviticus "clobber texts" could also be applied to the Koran with similar results.
    I have shown how Olyan's and Milgrom's conclusions also may be used to interpret Paul
    (Romans 1 and 1 Cor 6:9), since Paul in these texts also follows Leviticus closely (see
    my book "THE SUBVERSIVE GOSPEL", Pilgrim Press, 2000).

    **Heather MacAlister, Field Organizer for Triangle Foundation, Detroit, will attend June
    meeting of gay muslim leaders and seek to involve them, bring materials on Islam She
    writes: "I believe we must have an international perspective in order to take our
    liberation movement where it really needs to go next." -; also sean@tri.

    *Bob Goss, longtime leader in Act Up, author of JESUS ACTED UP: A GAY AND
    LESBIAN MANIFESTO, a key pioneer work in Gay theology. Former Jesuit priest, now
    MCC clergy and chair of the department of religious studies, Webster University, St.

    The Rev. Erin K. Swenson, Ph.D. Erin's Presbyterian ordination was upheld by the
    Atlanta Presbytery, "the first time that any mainstream church had upheld the ordination
    of a transsexual Christian minister" (Newsweek, Sept. 4, 1996). Marriage and family
    therapist; popular lecturer and workshop leader on such subjects as "The Spiritual
    Journey of Being Transgendered," Constructing Identity - Deconstructuring Stereotype".

    Urvashi Vaid, lesbian activist, author of VIRTUAL EQUALITY: THE MAIN-STREAMING
    OF GAY AND LESBIAN LIBERATION (1995), the radical dialectical response to the
    works of Andrew Sullivan and Bruce Bauer. .

    Byrne Fone, New York. Author of HOMOPHOBIA: A HISTORY (2000) and other
    significant books, pioneer in the teaching of gay and lesbian studies.

    *Daniel Helminiak, former RC priest, psychologist, professor. Author of several books,
    including WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY, the best seller in
    most gay book stores in the USA since its publication: /

    Gary David Comstock, college chaplain, author of significant study, VIOLENCE
    AGAINST LESBIAN AND GAY MEN (1991), Colombia University Press.

    Bernadette J. Brooten, Ph.D. Author of the definitive work on lesbian life in the ancient
    HOMOEROTICISM (University of Chicago, 1996). Professor of Christian Studies,
    Brandeis University. /

    **Bruce Williams O.P.

    From AFRICA:

    **Dennis (Busangokwakhe) Dlamini. Member of ILGA WP since 1999. Black Gay activist,
    Roman Catholic priest based in Pietermaritzburg. Works with marginalized black gays in
    the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Wrote his masters thesis on these black gays and an
    excellent doctoral dissertation, now almost completed, on their families. Very well
    informed and effective speaker. Frequent guest in Ukhozi FM Radio Talk Shows on
    gayness, once appearing on TV. Will need ILGA
    scholarship to attend.

    **Robert Katongo, President of MIRICA (Minority Rights Campaign Association), the new
    (1999) and only lesbigay organization in Zambia (in capital, Lusaka). Graduate of
    Roman Catholic seminary. Will need ILGA scholarship to

    **Rev. Doug Torr: Anglican, organized 1999 Joh. Pre-conference.
    WP member. Will need ILGA scholarship to attend.

    Farid Esack, Capetown, South Africa. Pioneer of new gay-friendly Islamic liberation
    theology, QUR'AN, LIBERATION AND PLURALISM (1996), Muslim scholar, activist.

    From ASIA:
    **The Rev. "Samuel", veteran Gay Protestant evangelist from country, where all
    homoerotic sex acts are illegal. Expert on homophobia in Asian & Christian traditions.
    WP member. Will need ILGA scholarship to attend conference.

    From EUROPE:

    **Marcella Althaus-Reid, Argentine, now professor at Edinburgh. Author of INDECENT
    THEOLOGY (Routledge, 2001). Groundbreaking radical new expression of queer
    liberation theology.

    Didi Herman, Senior lecturer in the department of law at Keele University in Britain,
    author of many works, including a key in-depth study, THE ANTIGAY AGENDA:
    Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right. University of Chicago Press, 1997.

    Richard Kirker, General Secretary of LGCM /

    Roy Clements, leading evangelical Bible expositor

    For German speakers, Georg Trettin WP member:
    For German literature see website:
    Highly recommended, esp. for German readers, and with many links to other sites.

    For French/Spanish speakers, WP member Jorge/Georges González: (33-1) 45-00-7517; 16 rue Paul Valéry, 75116, Paris


    WP member, Brazil: Dr. Luiz Mott:
    **Rev. Lisandro Orlov, BA, Lutherans Worldwide AIDS ministry:

    Our ILGA WP network and Other Sheep have many other contacts (60+ documentation
    centers), but ILGA and IGLHRC already have many of the same contacts, virtually all
    would need scholarships, and many might better participate in the Latin American
    regional conference (unless fluent in English). I will add names here after consulting
    further with Alejandra Sarda (just relocated back to BA) and other leaders in this area. If
    there is significant USA hispanic attendance and interest, I would gladly work with them
    to set up a double track pre-conference in Spanish, but given limits of time and $ would
    prefer to keep translations to a minimum. We have more of our study documents and
    resources for WP in Spanish than in English.

    **Marcelo Ferreira, Buenos Aires, founding member of Gays and Lesbians for Civil
    Rights, 1991-2001, GLTB Library, Interpride, 1997-2001, Deportistas Argentinas Gays,
    IGLHRC, translator (Spanish, English, Italian, French). Will
    need scholarship.

    **Gerald Cleator, O.P. Mexico DF. Ecumenical Liaison, Other Sheep,

ILGA Pre-conference, Working Party: Homophobia, Religion and Ideology
Oakland, CA, August 25, 2001 (Conference, Aug. 26 - Sept. 1)

    1 The ILGA Working Party (WP) on Homophobia, Religion and Ideology will be
    responsible for the program of the pre-conference, welcoming collaboration from the local
    sponsoring organization (East Bay Pride) regarding program and participants.

    2 Place. Since the WP has no budget or funds, as in previous conferences, we will be
    dependent on what East Bay Pride can arrange regarding site. In Johannesburg the local
    committee was able to have the pre conference in the site hotel, along with the women's pre
    conference, but this cost around $1000, which they somehow managed to cover. For
    convenience, image and press coverage this is ideal, but not necessary. Attendance has
    never exceeded 100, so the site of a local gay organization, welcoming church or synagogue,
    etc., would also be adequate. Since participants will not know the area (and sometimes little
    English), a modest location near the conference site is better than luxury afar (people get lost
    and lose time in travel, plus taxi fares that many cannot afford).

    3 Schedule. Since cultural customs vary, it would be good East Bay Pride to suggest the
    hours to begin, finish, meal/coffee breaks, etc. If reasonable food is available within walking
    distance, participants may be left on their own for meal(s). Probably it will be best to follow
    approximately what is decided for the women's pre conference, since it is usually very well

    4 Program Content. In past years, participants and program have largely concentrated on
    expressions of homophobia in Catholic and Protestant traditions, with some attention to
    Judaism and other faiths and ideologies. In Johannesburg, for the first time, we were privileged
    to have Islamic participation. This year I would suggest more focus on Judaism and Islam.
    Recent developments in Judaism, especially, are relevant to Christian traditions, and analysis
    of Islam also facilitates the understanding of developments in Christianity. We have had
    minimal involvement with the Orthodox tradition, and it would be good to try to do more in that
    area also. Assuming that the next ILGA international will be in Asia, that would be the best time
    to concentrate more on Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., but the Bay area probably offers good
    resources for these areas also.

    5 Program Methodology. Since interests are quite diverse and some arrive with
    considerable anxiety over the subject, a combination of panels and small groups, with reports
    for a plenary, have worked well. The final plenary offers opportunity for suggestions to take to
    the ILGA conference to follow, but in the ILGA structure, these must originate in a Workshop
    during the conference itself and not come directly from the WP pre-conference. In addition to
    its website, the WP can make available to participants a number of documents and
    bibliographies, and participants may be encouraged to bring their own resources to share. A
    brief introductory orientation can make clear that the aim of the WP is not to "bash" any
    particular religion or ideology, nor to promote proselytizing, but to encourage each person in
    his/her tradition to deal with any negatives and uncover the positives (which often have been
    censured by authorities - or just never talked about). A second aim is to encourage
    networking and effective alliance building. In the past, participants have left their names,
    emails, etc. but such lists have not been distributed to participants - which needs to be done
    before the conference ends - preferably simply xeroxed and made available at the end of the
    day, since other priorities seem to take over when this is postponed.

    Tom Hanks, Contact Person, ILGA WP

In the turbulent 1991
meeting in Mexico,
ILGA leaders from
around the world were
asked what their
biggest obstacle was.
Without exception they
replied in various
ways, "Religion!" "And
what are you doing to
address the problem?"
Most replied "Nothing,
because I'm not
religious." ILGA
leaders and the world
we seek to transform
have come a long way
since 1991 - but not far

ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association)
Working Party on Homophobia, Ideology and Religion
Rev. Dr. Tom Hanks,
Theologian / Director
of Mission.
Buenos Aires, 2006
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