We, the Diplomatic Missions of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, The United Kingdom, The United States of America joined by the The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, express our support for the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2018.
We welcome the 17th May as the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, a celebration of diversity around the world.
The truth is that in many places, LGBTI people continue to suffer discrimination, violence and death. In 75 countries, there are laws that criminalise private, consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex. Others 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 or harassment based on discrimination; and increasing the participation of LGBTI communities in our societies.
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. At the end of the day, inclusive and tolerant societies are societies that are more prosperous.
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 once again be participating in Vienna Regenbogenparade (Pride march) on Saturday 16 June 2018. For more information, go to our website https://www.diplomatsforequality.org/en/home/ and follow our social media accounts on Twitter @dipforequality and Instagram #diplomatsforequality