Monday, December 11, 2006
Old News - Dalai Lama urges respect and tolerance for LGBTs
April 3, 2006
Dalai Lama urges respect and tolerance for LGBTs
By Douglas Sanders
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has expressed concern and his opposition towards violence and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Fridae’s Douglas Sanders reports from the ILGA World conference in Geneva.
At the opening of the ILGA conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 30, the Envoy of His Holiness The Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyaltsen read the following statement on behalf of His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the exiled head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.
“I am pleased to bring you greetings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of the XXIII World Conference of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
“His Holiness welcomes the special attention given at this conference to religious tolerance and respect for diversity.
“His Holiness is greatly concerned by reports of violence and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
“His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and urges respect, tolerance, and the full recognition of human rights for all.”
He also expressed his best wishes for a successful conference.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 70, is the exiled head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.
On March 28, before the main ILGA conference, a pre-conference dealt with Religion and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Religion pre-conferences have been held for a number of years before ILGA World Conferences, but Muslim participation has never been as extensive as it was at the Geneva
On April 1, the conference featured a plenary panel of LGBT Muslims, with speakers from Bosnia Herzegovina, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Panelists described the International Initiative for Queer Muslim Visibility begun in Bosnia, and Inner Circle, a national umbrella organisation for LGBT Muslims now operating in South Africa.
Fridae columnist and retired Canadian law professor, Douglas Sanders, is attending the ILGA conference for the group Gays Without Borders: sanders_gwb a yahoo.ca.