Humankind’s strength is its diversity. Free expression of sexuality and gender increasingly defines the societies in which we want to live in the 21st century. But progress is uneven. In 2011, the first UN Resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity was supported by over 40 countries. Yet in many others, governments still legitimize and sponsor violence against LGBT citizens through legal discrimination, condoned police violence and hate speech.
Now is the time to create a Global LGBT Forum. A space where all those working to advance LGBT human rights can come together to further progress, reflect on new challenges and opportunities, and consider the next steps to secure the safety, free expression and assembly, and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and communities.
We, the sixty participants at Salzburg Global’s session on ‘LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps’ (June 2–7, 2013), came together from over 30 countries to launch the Global LGBT Forum. The following principles and recommendations are a result of our discussions. They are not exhaustive or prescriptive. We hope they serve to deepen future conversations and help us to reach out and build broader alliances across law, politics, activism and culture.