In many countries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are still denied fundamental human rights. Being gay is illegal in 78 countries across the world and being a lesbian is illegal in 49. In five countries same-sex sexual activity carries the death penalty.
Even where same-sex sex is legal other laws often stand in the way of equality. In some cases gay pride marches are not allowed and neither is literature that ‘promotes homosexuality’ - which often means it simply states its existence.
All around the world people are silenced, imprisoned, violently attacked, defined as mentally ill or murdered, just because they are LGBT. Stonewall is working internationally to end this persecution.
We’re using our established lobbying skills to make sure the UK Government and European Union do all they can through their diplomacy and international aid programmes to support LGBT equality globally.
We’re sharing our lobbying approach and tools with activists fighting for their rights and risking their lives to enjoy the same levels of equality as LGBT people in Britain.
We’re making sure governments that oppose LGBT equality know that it’s a global issue and not, as some try to argue, a ‘western phenomenon’. This means that we’re working to promote different voices from around the world and making sure their stories take centre stage.
To coincide with the UN Day of Human Rights 2013 we launched: 'Engaging with the UK Government: A guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists worldwide'. The guide aims to support LGBT activists to access the UK Government’s support in their country. It is full of useful information and practical tips that will help activists.
If you wish to order hard copies of the guide or ask for it to be translated, then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2013 Stonewall had several LGBT activist groups visit us in Britain to learn about how we have worked for equality and to share their strategies with us.
Visitors included Q – Centrum from Slovakia, Bhandu from Bangladesh, the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Uganda and the Society against Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Guyana.
There are on-going concerns in a number of countries. Stonewall is in contact with activists around the world and we make sure their issues are shared with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The majority of Stonewall’s work with activists is sensitive and confidential. For this reason we often work with the UK Government behind the scenes to raise the concerns shared with us.
The Winter Olympics in Sochi have cast a spotlight on anti-gay laws there. For more information and to take action visit our dedicated page on Russia.
Sadly the infamous anti-gay bill in Uganda was signed into law by the President in February 2014.
At Stonewall we will continue to work with Ugandan LGBT activists to do what we can to support them in their campaign for equality.
In December 2013 the Indian Supreme Court set aside the progressive 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that effectively decriminalised homosexuality and instead maintained that same-sex sexual relations are illegal.
The Supreme Court’s decision came as a great shock to most LGBT people and their allies in India.
Stonewall is in touch with LGBT groups in India.
For details on the Supreme Court’s decision and more suggestions on how individuals, the UK Government and businesses can respond, read our briefing on India.
Sadly the bill prohibiting same-sex marriage was signed into law by the President of Nigeria in the first weeks of January 2014. The bill makes a crime for gay people to marry and for anybody to witness a gay marriage. The bill also outlaws public displays of affection and membership of gay rights groups. LGB people holding hands, looking lovingly at each other or simply fighting for their fundamental human rights could face a 10-year jail sentence.
At Stonewall we will continue to work with Nigerian LGBT activists to do what we can to support them in their campaign for equality.
Our international work is moving fast as we are constantly responding to issues around the world. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information and make sure you tell us what you think.
Download our posters by clicking on the images above and help us to tell the world ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ in the language of your choice.
Download our Russia update, take action and pass the ideas on.
Support our international work by donating to Stonewall.
For more information on our work internationally please contact Jasmine, our Senior International Officer, at email@example.com