The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation released the inaugural edition of Equality Rising—a brief overview of many of the successes and setbacks of LGBT activists, advocates, and allies around the world in 2013. Released in advance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, this report aims to educate the American public about many of the notable events from last year in the growing global equality movement.
“Despite entrenched homophobia and transphobia in many nations around the world, the global fight for LGBT equality made historic gains in 2013,” said Ty Cobb, director of global engagement for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “At the same time, last year included horrific new anti-LGBT laws as well as alarming trends in anti-LGBT harassment and violence. These serve as important reminders of the many challenges ahead and the tremendous amount of work left to be done.”
Equality Rising highlights victories for full marriage equality in five nations, progress in the fight for transgender equality on at least four continents, as well as increased LGBT visibility broadly and tremendous acts of courage in dangerous countries such as Iran. The report also documents new anti-LGBT laws, ongoing persecution and violence, and efforts by extreme anti-LGBT Americans to export hateful rhetoric and misinformation abroad.
Brazil, France, New Zealand, England and Wales in the United Kingdom, and Uruguay opened the doors to marriage equality in 2013 bringing to 16 the total number of nations extending full marriage rights to all of its citizens. Although millions of transgender people around the world remain frequent targets for discrimination, at least eight nations took tangible steps toward greater equality.
Nigeria, Russia, and Uganda passed laws in 2013 that inhibited the freedom of speech and association of LGBT people, with the law in Uganda allowing for life imprisonment as a punishment. In more than 80 countries, LGBT people are considered criminals. They are frequently demonized for political gain, and they remain targets of harassment, arrest, violence, and in some cases, torture.
“We’re increasingly seeing the fingerprints of American ant-LGBT extremists in many more nations. They’re exporting hate to countries on nearly every continent, and they’ve had a real impact where the global equality movement has experienced its greatest setbacks—Nigeria, Russia, and Uganda,” Cobb said.
Equality Rising comes on the heels of last year’s announcement of HRC Foundation’s global engagement program, which joins advocates around the world in advancing global equality and by educating Americans on the human rights of LGBT people around the world.
A copy of the report is available at www.hrc.org/equalityrising