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Press Release

Joint statement by the General Secretariat of the OAS and the LGBTTTI&TS Coalition on the occasion of LGBTIQ Pride Day

  July 1, 2024

This year, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) concluded its work in coincidence with LGBTIQ Pride Day, a moment that finds both the General Secretariat of the Organization and the LGBTTTI and TS Coalition united in our common effort to reaffirm the human rights of all individuals.

Once again, we can celebrate progress in the decriminalization of consensual relationships between people of the same sex, allowing more LGBTIQ people in our region to live dignified lives without fear of legal persecution, progressively reducing social stigma, and respecting their private lives.

We also celebrate the continued advancement in the ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance, a key instrument for achieving higher levels of respect for people from many historically marginalized social groups. However, we must not fail to mention the concerning climate of intolerance fueled by hate speech. This is even more alarming when it comes from individuals with public responsibilities, such as officials, journalists, and political and social leaders.

Hate speech undermines democracy by challenging some of its fundamental values and principles. It translates into actions, as evidenced by the recorded increases in violence in several countries in the region due to prejudice against LGBTIQ people, including murders. Hate speech translated into state policies results in the dismantling or defunding of institutions, mechanisms, and public policies addressing gender-based or sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression-based violence. The problem is amplified by digital platforms, especially social media, which also serve as grounds for online harassment and violence.

It is necessary to uphold the right to equality and non-discrimination, and for states to take effective measures to guarantee and promote human rights. We call on states to pay special attention to reversing the structural exclusion faced by trans people. The lack of legal recognition of their gender identity negatively impacts the exercise of their economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, as well as their civil and political rights, hindering the fundamental exercise of democracies, which is participation in voting. We also want to emphasize that the violation of children's rights is growing in the region. LGBTIQ families form in various ways and deserve the same respect and guarantees as all other families, including legal recognition.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people displaced in precarious conditions, fleeing their countries of origin and reception due to structural and systematic violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The lives of LGBTIQ people in human mobility situations in our region, whether as migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers, must be protected. On the 40th anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration, we urge states to join those that have already provided a progressive interpretation seeking to cover the protection of LGBTIQ people.

Finally, we want to highlight and appreciate the activists and organizations in the region who often face difficult situations and take great risks in their work to promote human rights.

Reference: E-041/24