Italy: Pope Invited To Speak At IGLHRC Conference

CONTACT:

in the USA: Michael Mills, Conference Co-Coordinator, at +1.415.577.8680 michael@iglhrc.org

or in Italy: Deborah Oakley-Malvin at World Pride Rome 2000 office +39.348.770.8439 WorldPrideRome@aol.com

The following was sent by fax to Pope John Paul II on Friday, May 26, 2000:

His Holiness John Paul II
Office of The Holy See
Vatican City

BY FAX: 011-39-06-698-85378

Re: Invitation to His Holiness John Paul II to Speak July 3, 2000, in Rome

His Holiness John Paul II:

We are writing on behalf of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) to inquire about your availability to give the keynote speech at a one-day conference we are hosting on Monday, July 3, 2000, as part of the week-long World Pride Festival in Rome, Italy (July 1-9).

The conference Sexual Diversity, Religious Intolerance, and Strategies for Change will convene world experts in the field of homosexuality and religion, ultimately to draft a Unity Statement affirming the sacredness of all life and the right of all people to freedom from religious persecution.

Your presence at this conference would continue the church's efforts in seeking reconciliation with a community that wishes only to peacefully exercise its rights to association, assembly, and expression. It would also mark an important first step in defusing the atmosphere of intolerance and fear which has permeated the city of Rome in recent weeks.

We are convinced that it would be tremendously significant for the Holy See to demonstrate that human rights are truly universal, embracing all peoples.

Although this is short notice for Your Holiness, we are hopeful of your solidarity with our mission to create a world free from discrimination and intolerance, and hope you will be free to give us some words of encouragement and inspiration.

This congregation is a unique opportunity for you to impact a key audience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activists and religiously faithful people in a crucial year in the history of religion, in a place and time that will be a spotlight of either intolerance and homophobia or of religious acceptance, affirmation and celebration. While the date is fixed, the agenda will remain flexible to accommodate your schedule; please let us know if you are available and willing as soon as possible.

Thank you for your attention and concern.

Sincerely,

Daniel Lee Sara Moore Michael Mills

IGLHRC Rome Conference Co-Coordinators


Information about the conference "The Separation of Faith and Hate: Sexual Diversity, Religious Intolerance, and Strategies for Change" and other work IGLHRC is doing around World Pride Roma 2000 can be found at www.iglhrc.org. To register, send an inquiry to WorldPrideRome@aol.com with the Subject line "_Religion conference registration_", or inquire by fax at +39 6 5413971.

Information about other World Pride events can be found at http://www.worldpride2000.com/english/fcronology.htm. General inquiries about World Pride can be directed to info@mariomieli.it.

IGLHRC's mission is to protect and advance the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.