I had the pleasure of being in Bogotá for the 16th annual Marcha de la ciudadanía LGBT (LGBT Citizenship March, or Pride) on July 1st and seeing more than 60,000 people turn out. There were LGBT organizations of all stripes, including IGLHRC’s 2010 Felipa de Souza honoree Colombia Diversa, making visible their priorities and showing their pride. I snapped the photo above so you could see for yourself. For more images of brave and beautiful LGBT Colombians and allies, take a look at our album on Facebook .
This week, IGLHRC has been focused on exposing violence and discrimination against lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people in Guyana. On Tuesday, the state was reviewed by the UN Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and toward this end, we jointly prepared a report with the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) and the Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBow).
Sherlina Nageer traveled from Guyana to New York to deliver formal remarks to the Committee. Her hard-hitting op-ed, exposing the negligence of the Government of Guyana appeared in the HuffingtonPost and in Demerara Waves, a local Guyanese news website. Clearly, the government was on notice. It sent a high level delegation to the CEDAW session, including the Minister of Education, whose admission, “I would accept that LGBT people are a community that is not readily welcomed in Guyana" was followed by a defense, “We tried before to pass anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people and the public were against it...now we are trying for a second time."
And if you weren’t already convinced that LGBT rights movements in the Americas are vibrant, on Monday, July 16th, IGLHRC will honor two heroes from the Western Hemisphere at its annual gala, A Celebration of Courage. Felipa de Souza awardee and Chilean Judge Karen Atala’s 9-year legal battle for her children resulted in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights redefining international law for the Americas to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Special Recognition awardee and United States Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin’s efforts as founder and co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus have made invaluable contributions to mainstreaming LGBT rights in US domestic and foreign policy. Please join us in honoring and meeting two modern heroes!
With warmth and solidarity,