on this page...
List of potential
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?
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!
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
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
Homophobia, Religion and Ideology, ILGA Working Party Pre-Conference
9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 2001, Oakland, CA.
addressed, what you would recommend, and how you would like to participate.
Working Party website: www.othersheep.org (clic on ILGA WP for documents)
Hal Kooden, ILGA, New York: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete King, ILGA, Oakland: email@example.com
Luiz Mott, WP, Brazil: firstname.lastname@example.org
Georg Trettin, WP, Germany: email@example.com
Jorge/George González, WP, Paris: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Torr, WP, Johannesburg, South Africa: email@example.com
Dennis/Busangokwakhe Dlamini, WP, South Africa: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Samuel", Asia, WP: email@example.com
Program, 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 2001, Oakland, CA.
9:30-10 am Introductions and Orientation
10-11:15 am First Panel: Homophobia, Patriarchal Cultures & Religious Fundamentalism
Eastern Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism)
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
9 am – 6:30 pm, Aug. 25, 2001, Oakland, CA.
Possible Speakers and Workshop/Group Leaders (*/** = have indicated interest)
sexuality in the New Testament. Prof. NT, The Church Divinity School of the Pacific,
Berkeley. Episcopal. email@example.com
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. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, www.truluck.com 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. email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
MCC, author of several pioneering articles and book chapters on transgendered
persons and religion. email@example.com
*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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Gay spirituality. French/English. Roman Catholic. email@example.com
Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and Women's Studies, Temple
University. Author of LIKE BREAD ON A SEDER PLATE: JEWISH LESBIANS AND THE
TRANSFORMATION OF A TRADITION (1977). firstname.lastname@example.org
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. email@example.com
**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). firstname.lastname@example.org
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. email@example.com
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). firstname.lastname@example.org
Also the Rev. Paul Tucker, recently returned from pastoral visit to the MCC's in Buenos
Aires, Argentina. email@example.com
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
HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE (1998). Author of numerous
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). firstname.lastname@example.org
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." - email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org /
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
world, LOVE BETWEEN WOMEN: EARLY CHRISTIAN RESPONSES TO FEMALE
HOMOEROTICISM (University of Chicago, 1996). Professor of Christian Studies,
Brandeis University. email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
**Bruce Williams O.P. email@example.com
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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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. email@example.com Will need ILGA scholarship to
**Rev. Doug Torr: Anglican, organized 1999 Joh. Pre-conference. firstname.lastname@example.org
WP member. Will need ILGA scholarship to attend.
theology, QUR'AN, LIBERATION AND PLURALISM (1996), Muslim scholar, activist.
homoerotic sex acts are illegal. Expert on homophobia in Asian & Christian traditions.
WP member. email@example.com Will need ILGA scholarship to attend conference.
THEOLOGY (Routledge, 2001). Groundbreaking radical new expression of queer
liberation theology. firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com / www.lgcm.org.uk
Roy Clements, leading evangelical Bible expositor www.royclements.co.uk
For German speakers, Georg Trettin WP member: firstname.lastname@example.org
For German literature see website: http://mitglied.tripod.de/georgtrettin/aktbiblioN.html
Highly recommended, esp. for German readers, and with many links to other sites.
For French/Spanish speakers, WP member Jorge/Georges González:
email@example.com (33-1) 45-00-7517; 16 rue Paul Valéry, 75116, Paris
**Rev. Lisandro Orlov, BA, Lutherans Worldwide AIDS ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
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). email@example.com: Will
**Gerald Cleator, O.P. Mexico DF. Ecumenical Liaison, Other Sheep, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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
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
Buenos Aires, 2006
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