Compass to Compassion- The American Anti-LGBT Theological Roots of Global Persecution


GLAAD is collaborating with the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, the Unitarian Universalist UN Office, Soulforce, and several other partners to present Compass to Compassion a consultation to present a common strategy to deal with the global impact of American Christian fundamentalism on rising LGBT global persecution.

Compass to Compassion brings faith and secular leadership together to understand more clearly the reach of powerful fundamentalist networks around the globe and their effects on LGBT people globally. Using the case of Uganda as a starting point, discussion will focus on how attempts to further criminalize LGBT people globally will profoundly shape the future of theology and foreign policy in the United States. The featured guest will be Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, former Anglican bishop of Uganda, and vocal opponent to criminalization for LGBT people.

Uganda has been the most well-known “experiment” in recent so-called “ex-gay” politics. Emerging LGBT leadership in 76 countries where being gay is a criminal offense need partnerships with US and European-based LGBT and human rights organizations. The consultation will mobilize grass roots concerns with policy and strategic direction for everyone concerned about LGBT equality everywhere. Compass to Compassion will create the coalition to bring relationships, stories and technical resources needed to make global equality a reality within our lifetime.

The consultation will feature several keynote speakers, including Jeff Sharlet, the nationally best-selling author of The Family. His most recent book is Sweet Heaven When I Die. In 2000, Sharlet teamed up with novelist Peter Manseau to create, which has since become an award-winning online literary magazine about religion and spirituality. From 2003 to 2009, Sharlet was a research scholar at New York University’s Center for Religion and Media. He’s been a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and NPR’s “Fresh Air” and has appeared on HBO’s Bill Maher Show, Comedy Central’s Daily Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, NPR, BBC, and other media venues.

Other distinguished speakers include author of the Globalization of the Culture Wars, Rev. Kapya Kaoma, Rev. Mark Kayimbe from Uganda and Daniel B. Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

The consultation will also feature a social media panel featuring GLAAD’s Director of Religion, Faith & Values, Ross Murray, to discuss how to bring awareness of global LGBT persecution to an American audience.

Compass to Compassion will be held October 11-12 at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Registration is free, but required