End Criminalization, Secure Equal Rights of Same-Sex Relationships, Secretary-General Observance Message Urges, Pointing to Worrying Surge in Opposite Direction

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

On this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, I applaud the brave work of LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) human rights defenders fighting to outlaw discrimination and secure equality before the law.  Yet there is a worrying surge in the opposite direction.  New laws are codifying old bigotries, exploiting fears and stoking hate.

The theme of this year’s Day — “No one left behind:  equality, freedom and justice for all” — reminds us of our obligations to respect the human rights and dignity of every person. We need action around the world to make those rights a reality.  The criminalization of same-sex relationships must end, so must all violence, discrimination and harmful practices against LGBTIQ+ communities.

On this and every day, let’s commit to building a world of respect, dignity and human rights for all around the world.

For information media. Not an official record.