We, the Diplomatic Missions of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, the United States of America, joined by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and UN Globe, welcome 17 May as International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, as a celebration of diversity around the world and express our support for IDAHOBIT 2019.
Even now, in many places, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people continue to suffer discrimination and violence, often with deadly consequences. In 70 countries, there are laws that criminalise private, consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex, and we were and are alarmed by recent severely retrograde and inhumane measures brought in to target these relationships. Other countries offer LGBTI people little or no protection from discrimination in the workplace or in the provision of goods and services.
We remain committed to improving institutional protection against discrimination; removing or amending discriminatory laws, policies and practices; reducing hate speech, violence and harassment based on discrimination; and increasing the participation of LGBTI communities in our societies.
In support of this, FRA will soon launch its EU-wide LGBTI survey, seven years after the first one, to capture the experiences of discrimination and hate crime towards LGBTI people.
Criminalisation of and intolerance towards LGBTI persons denies them their political and civil rights just as much as their economic, social, and cultural rights. It weakens society by letting violence and bullying go unchecked, with severe consequences for the health and well-being of victims and their families. Ultimately, more tolerant and inclusive societies benefit everyone.
We also wish to pay homage to the courageous advocacy efforts carried out by human rights defenders, activists, journalists, media workers and civil society organisations to raise awareness about the issues affecting LGBTI persons and the violations they may face.
Finally, we are pleased that the initiative ‘Diplomats for Equality’ will be able to take an active part in EuroPride Vienna from 1-16 June 2019. For more information, go to our website and follow our social media accounts on Twitter @dipforequality and Instagram #diplomatsforequality.
One of the highlights this year will be the EuroPride conference where the FRA Director, Michael O'Flaherty will give an opening keynote speech.