End Criminalization of Consensual Same-Sex Relations, Transgender People, Says Secretary-General in Message for World Day against Homophobia

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed on 17 May:

As we mark the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we face a stark fact.  In every corner of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) people continue to face violence, persecution, hate speech, injustice and even outright murder.

Meanwhile, retrograde laws continue to criminalize LGBTQI+ people around the world, punishing them for simply being who they are. Each assault on LGBTQI+ people is an assault on human rights and the values we hold dear.  We cannot and will not move backwards.

The United Nations firmly stands with the LGBTQI+ community, and will continue working until human rights and dignity are a reality for all people.

I renew my call to all Member States to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and end the criminalization of consensual same-sex relations and transgender people.  Being yourself should never be a crime.

In keeping with this year’s theme — “Together Always:  United in Diversity” — I call on the world to speak with one voice to eliminate the stigma, discrimination, harmful practices and often deadly violence endured by LGBTQI+ people.

Human rights are non-negotiable.  They belong to every member of the human family — no matter who they are or whom they love.  Let’s continue working to build a peaceful, just world in which all people are free and equal in dignity and rights.

For information media. Not an official record.