Grant me Justice: Exhibition on “Criminalisation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People and the Catholic Church”
Europe, December 2018. During the GNRC Assembly in Dachau, a couple of participants were interviewed and gave testimonies about their experiences in countries that criminalise homosexual acts or people. Based on these testimonies an exhibition was developed that includes LGBT people from Nigeria, Togo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda (2), Zimbabwe, India, Russia, Brazil. The exhibition includes portrait photos of them as well. The foreword comes from Heiner Bielefeldt, a professor for human rights in Germany and a previous UN-special rapporteur for freedom of religion and belief.
The first presentation of the exhibition was at the Katholikentag in Münster, a big bi-annual church fair of the Catholic Church in Germany. Meanwhile it has been presented in Bielefeld, Cologne and Aachen. Other cities in Germany and Switzerland will follow in 2019: Oldenburg, Frankfurt, Basel, Berlin, Darmstadt and Munich are already scheduled. The institutions are student chaplancies, institutions for the education of adults or for city pastoral.
Especially remarkable was the opening of the exhibition in Aachen that was organized by the Catholic aid-organisation Misereor (in cooperation with the Catholic Academy of the diocese) to which over 60 people attended. The next morning, Heiner Bielefeldt and I were invited to speak to staff members of Misereor about the human rights situation of LGBT people and possibilities to initiate dialogue in those countries in which homosexuality is punished according to law. Our message was that the best way forward was to establish opportunities for dialogue between high-ranking clergy and LGBT Catholics and/or human rights activists on the ground.
The roll-ups of the exhibition are in German and English, while the brochure that contains more extended versions of the testimonies is currently available in German language only. A translation of the brochure into English and Italian is planned. We are looking especially for a volunteer who could translate the brochure from German or English into Italian.