© Getty Images/John Banyard/Pride In London

Religious leaders from around the world are planning to discuss Safeguarding Principles for the LGBTQ+ community.

On 21 and 22 March, over 150 religious public figures are set to gather at London’s Foreign Office to participate in the 2022 Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives Conference (GIC+).

The Chief Rabbi of Poland, former President of Ireland, Dr Mary McAleese, and four Anglican Primates are just some of the event’s attendees.

During this year’s gathering, the delegates will analyse specially commissioned research regarding the harmful practices of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ youth.

The in-depth analysis, which an Advisory Board of research professionals oversaw, looks explicitly at queer communities within Hungary and the Caribbean.

In the two reports, researchers revealed that LGBTQ+ youth who have undergone conversion therapy have higher rates of suicidal attempts, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm than those who have not experienced any form of the horrific practice.

Zoe Playdon, Emeritus Professor of Medical Humanities at University of London and Chair of the Research Advisory Board, opened up about the alarming study in a statement.

“The research demonstrates how defenceless young LGBT+ people turned for support to those they trusted, in places that should have been safe and found only prejudice and harm,” she said.

“Their abusers are encouraged by a toxic culture whose constant negative message is that being LGBT is unacceptable, prompting vulnerable people to turn to these degrading practices or worse, seek death.

“That is why we need the international community, and religious leaders in particular, to speak out.”

Jayne Ozanne, the Director of the GIC+, echoed similar sentiments and praised the religious figures that are set to attend the event.

“It is so encouraging to see the importance that so many senior faith leaders from around the world have placed on this event, with many clearing their diaries and coming to London to show their solidarity and support for this critical Safeguarding project,” she said.

The upcoming GIC+ conference comes a couple of years after the organisation launched the Dignity of All Declaration.

In the document, which over 1000 religious leaders signed, the GIC+ called for an end of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination and conversion therapy.

“We affirm that all human beings of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions are a precious part of creation and are part of the natural order,” the declaration said.

The 2022 Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives Conference will be held over two days, with the Safeguarding Principles to be revealed on 22 March.

Read more about the event below.