At IAM, we believe that religious fundamentalism, the evil of patriarchy, ignorance around the full diversity of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expressions, in combination with a lack of exposure to diverse interpretations of sacred texts and the lived realities of sexual minorities, stand in the way of true democracy and the full realisation of human rights for all people in South Africa and the rest of Africa.
Africa needs an alternative, constructive religious voice.
Religious fundamentalism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, stigma, shame and forced secrecy are affecting every single LGBTI individual, regardless of whether he, she or they are a person of faith or not. The ever increasing religious homophobia excludes LGBTI’s from basic human rights, and in many ways and contexts religious leaders are at the forefront of teaching negative beliefs about sexuality, voicing views such as “homosexuality is un-African”. This in turn produces or condones violence against LGBTI people and reinforces anti-homosexuality legislation. While this concern is shared, an alternative constructive religious voice against the detrimental effects is not heard strong enough in Africa.