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From the organizers and speakers of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s conference (3 July, 2000): “Separation of Faith and Hate: Sexual Diversity, Religious Intolerance and Strategies for Change,” at Rome World Pride 2000


We, people of diverse sexuality and spiritual, religious and secular communities, come together from around the world. We issue a call for solidarity to end religiously motivated and perpetuated intolerance based on sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

We recognize the complexity of sexuality and reaffirm that sexuality is an intrinsic part of our lives as human beings.

We call attention to how religious intolerance directed at those who do not conform to dominant norms of sexual expression results not only in their exclusion, but also in human rights violations. We recognize the interdependence of all lives and believe that an affront to the dignity and integrity of one is an affront to all human beings.


The purpose of this statement is to facilitate dialogue and provide for better understanding both within and among religious and secular bodies. We seek to articulate this common ground using human rights principles.

We seek to promote respect for the natural gift of human diversity, including sexual identities and gender expression.

This statement of solidarity is intended for use within a framework that recognizes other forms of oppression such as racism, classism and sexism.


  • We reaffirm the worth and dignity of every human being.
  • We express our deepest commitment to all human rights emphasizing that some rights cannot be privileged over others, since human rights are indivisible and that a person’s sexual orientation and identity should not interfere in the full exercise of their human rights.
  • We affirm that sexual rights – including bodily integrity, sexual health and freedom from sexual coercion and violence – are integral to human rights. In this light we condemn victimization and discrimination based on certain lifestyles, appearance and cultural/social stereotypes.
  • We recognize that many people of marginalized sexualities belong to religious groups as both followers and leaders, and they often suffer discrimination and alienation from expression of their spirituality. We call for reconciliation and healing of the relationship between spirituality and sexuality within these communities.
  • We express concern that many individuals are disinvited from their religious communities because of their sexual orientation. We call upon these communities to respect, honor and celebrate gifts of sexual diversity and recognize that the presence of these individuals further enriches their communities.
  • We call upon religious bodies and leaders to respect the rights of individuals to live a fulfilling life and not encourage violence or victimization of individuals – especially young people, within educational institutions, within families and in other social institutions.
  • We call on religious establishments to join us in the recognition that all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

National Catholic Reporter, Posted July 6, 2000