Introducing: The Global Online Forum on LGBT* and Faith

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Introducing: The Global Online Forum on LGBT* and Faith

Founder and chair of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum Klaus Mueller (holding microphone) speaks at the Forum program "Strengthening Communities: LGBT Rights & Social Cohesion"

Fellows of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum to foster online discussion about the inclusion of LGBT* people in faith communities and religious and cultural traditions in a new blog series starting this August 

Photos by Herman Seidl
Aug 04, 2020

This month, the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum begins its new Faith Is…? initiative to address issues of religion, cultural history, and LGBT inclusion (and exclusion), convening LGBT human rights defenders and cultural and religious leaders across faiths, geographies, and generations. 

Worldwide, LGBT people are insisting on their inclusion in religious and cultural traditions; and religious congregations across all denominations have begun to interpret their own beliefs in more inclusive ways. Such positive changes are still nascent, and they must be supported and expanded to achieve LGBT equality globally. 

The seventh annual program of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum was planned to take place in July 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. Given the uncertainties surrounding global travel in the near- to mid-term due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have instead decided – with the active support of our funders – to launch the Faith Is...? initiative through developing a Global Online Forum on LGBT* and Faith by hosting a series of online activities in the second half of 2020. 

This online program will broaden our reach by allowing us to engage with those previously selected for the in-person meeting, existing Fellows of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum, and others outside the network. We welcome this opportunity to learn new ways of fostering conversations and expanding the reach of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum.

Developed in the form of a blog by multiple authors, online gatherings and a public webinar, the LGBT* Forum will showcase and document that a respectful, humane and global conversation on LGBT equality and inclusion in and across faith communities is not only possible, but indeed has already begun in many places. By bridging divides, the Forum aims to strengthen inclusive cooperation between religious and LGBT leaders, and their communities, and to expand global connections for support and knowledge-sharing within and beyond the program, supporting the next generation of LGBT leaders. The lessons of what is working will also serve as a roadmap for our continuing work on the Faith Is...? initiative.

In our new blog series on LGBT* and Faith, we focus on two lead questions:  
•    What is needed for religious communities and leaders to be instrumental in promoting the wellbeing, equality and inclusion of LGBT people in faith communities and society? 
•    How do LGBT people, today and throughout history, enrich and change the religious communities of which they are a part? 

Each week’s discussion, starting in August throughout October, will be led by a thought-piece from a Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum Fellow, starting with American poet and the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution, Joy Ladin.

Ladin will publish an opinion article to lead an online discussion on Tuesday, August 11 on “Religious Communities and Leaders Need to Stop Seeing LGBT* People as Other, as Them, and Start Seeing Them as Us”

The Fellows’ thought-pieces will be published both on SalzburgGlobal.org and our Salzburg Global Facebook page where we encourage Fellows and their networks to post responses and join in the discussion.

This new online discussion series builds on those candid but closed discussions in a public space, drawing in new voices and expanding the conversations beyond Salzburg and the Forum. 

To receive notifications of when each week’s article is published, please follow Salzburg Global Seminar on Facebook and sign up to our dedicated mailing list: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/LGBT/newsletter  

 

Join the discussion! 

Have something to share? Post in the comments on this post on our Facebook page!

Klaus Mueller speaks at the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum at Salzburg, Austria

The Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum was formed in 2013 to establish a truly global space to reflect upon and advance LGBT and human rights discussions around the world, as well as to form a network of international leaders from diverse fields – including human rights, legal, artistic, and religious backgrounds. Founded and chaired by Dr. Klaus Mueller, the Forum currently includes representatives from more than 72 countries on six continents.

The Global Online Forum on LGBT* and Faith is led by Fellows of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum. The articles and comments represent opinions of the authors and commenters, and do not necessarily represent the views of their corporations or institutions, nor of Salzburg Global Seminar. Readers are welcome to address any questions about this series to Forum Director, Klaus Mueller. To receive a notification of when the next article is published, follow Salzburg Global Seminar on Facebook or sign up for email notifications here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/LGBT/newsletter  

* LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is currently widely used in human rights conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity in many parts of the world, and we would wish it to be read as inclusive of other cultural concepts, contemporary or historical, to express sexuality and gender, intersex and gender non-conforming identities.