Demand Midwifery Today end discriminatory policies at conferences: let LGBTQ people speak!

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Midwifery Today’s 2020 conference, titled ‘Sharing Birth Culture,’ chose to book a venue with an explicit policy banning LGBTQ people and speakers.

From the venue’s policy guidelines:

“Policies: All guest groups shall honor Biblical standards of conduct. This includes, but is not limited to refraining from the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, firearms, explosives, profanity, secular music and videos, and immodest clothing, and refraining from practicing or condoning sexual activity outside of the relationship of marriage between a man and woman.”

Because Midwifery Today chose this location with this discriminatory policy, LGBTQ speakers are not allowed to participate in the conference. Moreso, choosing a venue with these policies send a clear message to LGBTQ midwives that we are not welcomed at Midwifery Today’s conference and that our voices do not matter (not to mention any midwife that has have had sex outside of heterosexual marriage or midwifed for parents that weren’t legally married, who also may be in violation of the venue’s morality clause).

Additionally, at a conference devoted to Sharing Birth Culture with topics of discussion such as Respect in Midwifery and A Day on Trauma and Healing, all but two of this conference's speakers are white women and none are LGBTQ.

This was discovered through the conference’s facebook group in the chat pictured above.

In recent years, the midwifery community has made progress on centering the needs of black and brown midwives and LGBTQ midwives and the ways we can best serve our communities. Both MANA and NACPM are offering free memberships to people of color and LBGTQ midwives and midwifery students, and NACPM has created the Bigger Table Fund to assist midwives from marginalized communities pay for licensing exams.

Midwifery Today’s choice of venue is discriminatory, callous, and behind the times. Exclusionary policies based on race, sexual orientation, or lifestyle have no place in the midwifery community.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that midwives be at the forefront of birth justice. Therefore we are demanding Midwifery Today join the rest of the midwifery community in prioritizing marginalized communities by:

  • Moving the venue of the Midwifery Today 2020 conference to a location that welcomes LGBTQ midwives to attend and speak
  • Diversifying the speakers at the conference to hear from more midwives of color and midwives who are LGBTQ identified.

We are urging our community to sign this petition, share with your community and cancel your subscription to Midwifery Today and its conferences until the venue is changed and the conference adds more speakers from communities of color and the LGBTQ community. 

Please contact Midwifery Today to voice your concerns.  You can email them below or call Midwifery Today at 1-541-344-7438