Inclusive and Safe Schools

Many of our Catholic schools remain unsafe places for LGBTIQ young. Homophobic bullying remain prevalent amongst students and even amongst teachers in our schools. As Catholic peoples we know this is against

Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic principles of social justice. We need to ensure that our schools are safe

and nourishing places where our children, youth and educators are safe, supported and that respectful learning

and teaching communities are there to promote the full human flourishing of all in our schools, free from

homophobic bullying, harassment, aggression and violence.

Gender Equity

We support and work in solidarity with other Australian Christian feminist organizations (such as WATAC)

advocating for a participative and inclusive model of church and society which work towards new forms of

partnership beyond that of a patriarchal model with one and another. That the often overshadowed feminine

is part of an intrinsic to an understanding of God, to human wholeness and therefore an inclusive

church.

Disability

There are often great silences around disability, including within queer and Catholic communities. Similarly, non-

heterosexual sexualities are often left out of the discussion within disability rights organizations and elsewhere

in the disabled community. Disability is a term that encompasses a wide range of differential physical, sensory,

psychological and cognitive abilities and effects many folks visibly and often invisibly. We hope to bring provide

a space where these conversations can be had and that Catholic service providers and community organizations

are part of the dialogue.

Ageing

Without many of our brave LGBTIQ elders we wouldn’t arrive at where we are at as a community. We have a

responsibility and duty to ensure that the voices of our elders are heard and that ongoing improvements are

made to enhance their health, quality of life and wellbeing, that LGBTIQ appropriate support is given especially

in areas of residential and community care.

Decriminalisation of Homosexuality

Christians and Catholics continue to face religious persecution and marginalisation in many countries,

furthermore, many of our LGBTIQ sisters and brothers in these communities, are deliberately targeted. In many

parts of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Intersex persons face severe discrimination due to

their sexual orientation or gender identity and, in nearly 80 countries, consensual same-sex acts are

criminalized. The UN has highlighted the link between criminalization laws and “homophobic hate crimes, police

abuse, torture, and family and community violence.” Many countries do not have specific laws targeting LGBTI

persons, but are often unable or unwilling to protect LGBTI persons whose human rights are violated or abused.

Catholics have a moral obligation to speak up against these injustices, especially in communities where there are

considerable Catholic populations.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

LGBTIQ refugees may flee their countries due to persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender

identity, or for the same reasons as any other refugee – such as ethnic conflict, political unrest, or the lack of

religious freedom. However, in countries where they seek safety, LGBT refugees often risk being harassed, hurt,

or even killed.

They may be targeted by other refugees, host communities, or government officials and police, who may

threaten to arrest and detain them.

LGBT refugees are often reluctant to seek assistance for fear of revealing their sexual orientation or gender

identity to people who may subject them to further persecution. This “invisibility” has prevented many

organizations from reaching out to LGBT refugees and helping them access services including critically needed

medical care. Assistance organizations are increasingly recognizing LGBT refugees’ unique needs and

vulnerabilities, especially in countries that are unwilling or unable to protect their human rights. It is a moral

imperative for Catholic Communities to offer support and sanctuary to those fleeing from harm and

persecution.

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