Advancing the rights of LGBTI+ persons of faith and in faith communities: partnerships for progress (WP1488)

Image: Ludovic Bertron

In the run-up to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May 2016, we look ahead to the second in our series of events focusing on the human and civil rights of LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex) persons.

Much progress has been made to advance LGBTI+ rights since 17 May 1990, when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, yet there is still more to be done to eradicate discrimination based on sexuality and/or gender identity. High level fora including the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference, and Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) build and aim to sustain the momentum of national and international LGBTI+ rights movements and hold governments to account to ensure equal protection of the law for all citizens. Yet, according to a recent report by Human Dignity Trust, Criminalising Homosexuality and Understanding the Right to Manifest Religion,

78 countries retain laws which discriminate against or criminalise self-identification or sexual activity by LGBTI+ persons.

In recent years, with (19) countries legalising same-sex marriage and others introducing anti-LGBT legislation on the grounds of religious freedom, the challenging discussion around the relationship between religion and sexuality and gender identity has been brought to the forefront of the human rights debate.

Following on from our event in 2014 on Promoting the human rights of LGBT persons: next steps for international institutions and civil society, our upcoming roundtable on Opportunities and challenges: the intersection of faith and human rights of LGBTI+ persons aims to  engage and strengthen alliances between faith communities, policymakers and human rights advocates to identify challenges and potential areas for progress in raising awareness and promoting tolerance and equal rights of LGBTI+ persons.

Promoting the human rights of LGBT persons: next steps for international institutions and civil society?

Alice Nkom, Barrister; Founder, Association for the Defense of LGBT Rights in Cameroon (ADEFHO), Douala and Graeme Reid, Director, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights Program, Human Rights Watch, New York speaking at our event in 2014.

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