17 May 2013

Stonewall welcomes the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO)

While we have made great progress towards gay equality in Britain, today it is important to remember that in 78 countries it is illegal to be gay. This is why Stonewall now campaigns internationally to support the tireless work of activists in different countries.

A quick tour of the world shows us that there is a lot of work to be done:

  • The infamous anti-gay bill in Uganda has not gone away. Many parliamentarians are still pressing for it to be debated and passed into law.
  • Yahya Jammeh, the president of Gambia, continues to spout homophobic vitriol, stating that “Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia. If we catch you, you will regret why you are born.”
  • In Ukraine two draft laws are currently before Parliament that would prevent gay people from exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

But the good news is that gay human rights activists have an increasing number of allies. Today at an inter-governmental conference to mark IDAHO UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay delivered an address on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban Ki-moon stated: ‘For generations, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all regions have been subjected to terrible violence on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity’.

He continued: ‘For far too long, their suffering was met with silence in the halls of power. As Secretary-General, I am committed to raising my voice.’

Stonewall hopes, that as the international pressure for equality rises, Presidents and Prime Ministers in those countries with homophobic laws are listening and start to take positive action.

To find out more about our international work and to make a donation, please go to www.stonewall.org.uk/worldwide

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