Soulforce is one of the co-sponsors of a great new effort:
Heterosexism is the presumption that everyone is heterosexual and that opposite sex attractions and relationships are preferable and superior to those of the same sex. Heterosexism has been encoded into nearly every major social, religious, cultural, and economic institution in our society and it leads directly to discrimination and the harmful efforts by some health care providers and religious groups to change or repress the sexual orientation of those under their care.
Anti-heterosexism involves recognizing and questioning the power and privileges society confers on heterosexual people because of their sexual orientation. It involves respecting and fostering the inclusivity and diversity of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
ABOUT THE ANTI-HETEROSEXISM CONFERENCE:
The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference is open to everyone; including psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, educators, clergy, health care professionals, and others who provide services to, or care for, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The goal of the conference is to explore and begin undoing the heterosexist attitudes that exist on personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels. With information and strategies for building connection and community, health care professionals and educators can advocate for LGBT people and support them in leading successful, happy, and productive lives in the communities in which they work, live, and attend school.
One of the most destructive forms of heterosexism is the practice of “ex-gay” ministries and “reparative” or “sexual orientation conversion” therapies. Based on the false presumption that heterosexuality is superior to homosexuality, these treatments use scientifically unsound and outdated understandings of sexual and gender identity and offer false hope to vulnerable and distressed LGBT people, especially those from conservative religious backgrounds. The harm caused by such programs can be immense, with troubling ethical violations that may include breaches in patient/client confidentiality, and outcomes that increase the risk for depression, anxiety, and self- destructive behavior. Deeply rooted in heterosexist attitudes, they frequently teach that LGBT people are lonely and unhappy individuals who never achieve societal acceptance, satisfying interpersonal relationships, or a genuine faith experience.
Furthermore, ex-gays have become a central component in the strategy to deny LGBT people full civil equality. Paid spokespersons from ex-gay ministries speak in courtrooms, school board meetings, and directly to legislators in Congress. Their goal is to convince political leaders and the American public that LGBT people can change their sexual orientation or gender identities and therefore do not need equal rights or protections.
Soulforce continues to take its nonviolent crusade for justice down new and necessary paths. Join them in the work for equality during Blogathon 2009 – sponsor us. We’ll be here until 9 am blogging for justice and for Soulforce.
Back in a half.