Under the biblical motto “Hear a Just Cause” (Psalm 17,1), almost 100 Rainbow Catholics from 35 countries gathered in Munich-Dachau from November 30th to December 3rd, 2017, in order to develop a common agenda for the future.
A special focus of the assembly was on the African region, where legal criminalisation in some countries and social persecution in others lead to conditions where LGBTIQ people in many African countries are endangered in their everyday lives. One of several working groups convened during the assembly focused specifically on this issue of criminalisation.
During the assembly, the African Network of Rainbow Catholics tabled a motion urging the GNRC to make their voice be heard at the Vatican:
“We call upon the General Assembly of the GNRC to request the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church to speak for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer, (LGBTIQ) people in the Church.”
We are deeply concerned that over 70 countries in the world criminalize same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults, with the majority of these countries in Africa. Consensual same sex conduct is punishable by death in Nigeria, Mauritania, Sudan and some parts of Somalia. Criminal laws of this kind, whether or not enforced, contribute to persecutory environments and fuel violence against LGBTIQ people. The violence meted out on LGBTIQ individuals ranges from general violence (such as assault) to the most brutal killings (murder).
“We urge the Church hierarchy to commit to teach, preach and act against any laws that undermine human dignity and oppress any and all minorities, including LGBTIQ people.”
The motion was accepted by the Assembly of the GNRC.