We Are Making Huge Strides in the Battle against Homophobia
Tatchell, Peter, The Independent (London, England)
LESBIAN, GAY, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have made great progress in Britain, especially in the last decade. But in large parts of the world, homophobic and transphobic oppression remain rife. Up to 80 countries continue to outlaw homosexuality, with penalties ranging from one year's jail to life imprisonment. Homophobia is particularly grim in the Islamist states that impose the death penalty for same-sex relations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and Yemen.
Amid this gloom, last December something truly remarkable and historic happened. Sixty-six countries signed a United Nations statement, which called for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality and condemned homophobic discrimination and violence.
Despite this breakthrough, even today no international human rights convention specifically acknowledges sexual rights as human rights.
None explicitly guarantee equality and non-discrimination to LGBT people. The right to love a person of one's choice is absent from global humanitarian statutes. In large parts of the world, hundreds of millions of LGBT people are forced to hide their sexuality; fearing ostracism, harassment, discrimination, imprisonment, torture and even murder. …