The Foreign Policy Case for Promoting LGBTI Human Rights
Randy Berry, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, US Department of State
Chair: Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall
The global state of human rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex persons varies substantially, and is in a state of considerable flux.
On one hand, in recent years, many states have made a determined effort to strengthen human rights protection for LGBTI people. A multitude of new laws have been adopted, including laws banning discrimination, penalizing homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, granting recognition of same-sex relationships, and making it easier for transgender individuals to obtain official documents that reflect their preferred gender.
On the other hand, in several countries, laws against cross dressing are used to punish transgender people on the basis of their gender identity and expression. And in some 77 countries, discriminatory laws criminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships; exposing individuals to the risk of arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and, in at least five countries, the death penalty.
Randy Berry, America’s first special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons, will assess the current global situation, the value of broad public-private initiatives, and the role of diplomacy in advancing sustainable progress for members of the community.