2013: a terrible year for the rights of LGBT people
Never has the campaign for international LGBT rights been more important.
2013 has been marked by serious challenges to the rights of LGBT people, according to the Kaleidoscope Trust’s annual review. In a year marked by repressive legislation and unfavourable court cases, the challenges facing the international LGBT movement have rarely been greater. The introduction of laws in Russia curtailing the freedom of speech of LGBT and human rights activists, the decision of the Indian Supreme Court to effectively re-criminalise homosexuality and the passage of dangerous legislation in Nigeria and Uganda have all come as major blows to LGBT activists and communities.

The Trust’s Assistant Director, Alistair Stewart said:
The challenges facing the LGBT community internationally this year show the how important it is for international solidarity. LGBT communities across the world are facing criminalisation, discrimination and violence – often at the hands of their own governments who continue to ignore the voices of their own LGBT citizens. Advances in some parts of the world have been matched by regression elsewehere. It is vital that while LGBT people celebrate victories for equal marriage in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, they support those fighting against the resurgent forces of oppression.

Despite these setbacks, however, there remains reasons to be hopeful for 2014. Russia’s passing of ‘anti-LGBT propaganda’ laws prompted an international outcry that perhaps marks the movement of LGBT rights into the international mainstream. Likewise in India, the surprise ruling of the Supreme Court prompted outrage not only amongst LGBT activists, but mainstream, high profile political and celebrity allies. While there have been setbacks for marriage equality in Croatia, a progressive government is working to find ways to afford same-sex couples some, if not all, of the legal protections offered by marriage.