Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed on 17 May:
Around the world, millions of LGBTIQ+ people continue to face injustice simply for who they are, or whom they love.
I am deeply concerned by continued violence, criminalization, hate speech and harassment against LGBTIQ+ people, and by new attempts to further exclude them from education, employment, health care, sports and housing. In many countries, LGBTIQ+ people are subjected to profoundly harmful practices, including so-called “conversion” therapy, forced surgery and treatment, and degrading examinations.
Meanwhile, LGBTIQ+ people are among the marginalized groups that are worst affected by the many interlinked crises in our world, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis, ongoing conflicts and growing inequality. LGBTIQ+ people have the same fundamental human rights as everyone else. The solutions are clear.
We need to combat violence against LGBTIQ+ people, outlaw harmful practices, provide justice and support to victims, and end persecution, discrimination and criminalization. We must tackle the root causes of the marginalization of LGBTIQ+ people as an essential element of the 2030 Agenda and its promise to leave no one behind.
The United Nations is proud to support and uphold the fundamental human rights and dignity of all people – including LGBTIQ+ people. I call on everyone to join us to build a world of peace, inclusion, freedom and equality for all.