Can people change their sexual orientation? How does the promise and pressure to change affect the lives and human rights of LGBT people worldwide?

The Unitarian Universalist Association -United Nation’s Office (UUA-UNO) in partnership with the UN NGO Committee on Human Rights & the NGO Committee on HIV/AIDS Present:
 
SELLING THE PROMISE OF CHANGE: International Health and Policy Consequences of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE)
Thursday January 31st, 1-3pm, UN Church Center, 777 UN Plaza, New York City.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) rights have progressed into the UN framework of international human rights. The notion that people can or must change their orientation to conform with cultural or religious norms has risen to the forefront of the debate on this topic. Mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, violence against women, religious and personal freedoms all play important roles in this analysis.

Join the UUA-UNO  for the groundbreaking discussion on the legalities, ethics and science behind the movement promoting sexual orientation change efforts and its relationship to international human rights. A panel of experts will review the literature, policy and personal narratives relating to this issue. Q & A to follow.

Current Panelists Include:

  • Toiko Kleppe - UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Dr Jack Drescher, MD - Author of the APA’s official position on sexual orientation conversion therapy.
  • Sam Wolfe, Esq – Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Chaim Levin – Survivor of ex-gay therapy and plaintiff in the landmark case against a conversion therapy organization
  • Rebecca Jordan-Young, Ph.D – Women’s, Gender and Sexual Studies, Columbia University
  • Pastor Jay Bakker – Revolution Church, Son of Televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker
The event is predominantly about how the concept that Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) is changeable, affects how SOGI is seen vis-a-vis international human rights. We will explore the ex-gay movement’s involvement in anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria and Eastern Europe. We also want to explore how the promise of change can affect violence against LGBT people, particularly forcing children into dangerous programs, mob violence against suspected gay people and corrective rape practices against lesbian and trans people. We will review this issue in western society and examine how it is exported to other nations.

We think the program will have a significant impact in framing SOGI issues with respect to human rights. With the recent Russian backed UN resolution to put the words “Traditional Values” as a qualifier for human rights, a values discussion about the rights of LGBT people is more necessary than ever. Discussing the concept of change efforts, religious pressures and psychological promises is an essential starting point to this conversation.

Funding in part by the NYU Social Justice and Diversity Grant

This event is free and open to everyone. Join us and spread the word! RSVP to UNintern@uua.org

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