Gay Rights around the World: ILGA and the release of their Annual Report
On May 13, 2015, the ILGA (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) shared its annual report on State-Sponsored Homophobia. Presenting their findings to the world, the authors Aengus Carroll and Lucas Paoli Itaborahy opened the door and shed some light on gay rights around the world with their detailed report, A World Survey of Laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love.
The timing was perfect, as May 15th was slated as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. ILGA launched it’s report findings at the Palais des Nations in Geneva – the 10th edition of this annual report. And merely days after that, on May 23rd, Ireland made history of its own by having a national vote which went through at 62% in favor of allowing a new marriage bill to be drafted allowing ceremonies to wed gay couples. This means, the World Map showing all the countries that are against these freedoms will already have to be changed to reflect this progressive decision on marriage equality by the people of Ireland. Well DONE!
source for map: http://old.ilga.org/Statehomophobia/ILGA_WorldMap_2015.pdf
As an example of freedoms we share here in Canada and in other parts of the world, here are some interesting facts from the report to shed some light and open some eyes to the realities:
There are 117 countries (UN Members) where same sex sexual acts between adults in private are legal. Mozambique and Palau have decriminalised same-sex acts in 2014 and Lesotho in 2010.
There are 76 countries where same-sex sexual acts are still illegal. Chad introduced a new Penal Code in 2014, punishing anyone who has sex with persons of the same sex.
Discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is now prohibited in 63 countries, including Chile (2012), Samoa (2013), Namibia (2004) and city of Buenos Aires in Argentina (2015).
A total of 7 countries have a constitutional prohibition to discrimination based on sexual orientation, including Mexico (2011) and Virgin Islands (2007) – associate of the United Kingdom
Marriage is open for same-sex couples in 18 countries, including in Luxembourg and Slovenia, both in 2015. The state of Coahuila in Mexico and 19 further states in the United States of America have passed same-sex marriage laws in 2014, bringing the total number of states legislating for marriage equality to 37 (plus the District of Columbia). Finland approved a marriage equality law in 2015 that will come into force in 2017, while Estonia approved a similar law in 2014, to come into force in 2016.
When one reads over some of the findings in this report, it is difficult not to breathe a grateful sigh of relief that we are not criminalized for different behaviors when it comes to love, attraction or marriage. Others around the world suffer enormously, and if you feel strongly enough about it, perhaps using your voice and support in other ways will make that world map need more and more changes until one day, it will be complete.
For a PDF version of the State Sponsored Homophobia annual report, please click here: