The Global Interfaith Network for People of all Sexes, Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Expressions (GIN-SSOGIE) has been formally established, following a gathering in South Africa. The idea for a global network of activists engaged in faith work around issues of sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions germinated at the 2012 International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (ILGA) World Conference in Stockholm, when participants felt an urgent need to halt and transform the religion-based violence, criminalization and persecution of the LGBTQI community, particularly in the Global South.
The South Africa conference gathered 68 delegates from more than 35 countries, representing an array of faiths and denominations. The participants represented an authentic and rich diversity of sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions that are a part of the human family.
“GIN aims to create solidarity among our community’s people of faith, to promote interfaith dialogue, and strengthen our voices within the institutions and structures that govern our lives. We seek to overcome the falsely fabricated rift between our community and faith traditions,” the steering committee stated.
The four-day gathering focused on the pillars that ground GIN-SSOGIE’s work, including: creating safe space, organizing skills, scriptural and academic resources, founding structures, and building a new faith-convicted and inclusive narrative in human rights arenas.
GIN-SSOGIE will also provide resources, training, and collective programs to help individuals and organizations engage in meaningful, constructive dialogue with religious leaders and advocate at the regional and international level for dignity and rights. The goals are mutual understanding, respect, inclusion and acceptance.