In honor of today’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHTB), the WRC stands with the queer community and the hard-working advocates who are continually pushing for justice at-home and across the world. Thanks to these advocates and allies, today we celebrate Taiwan, the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage (link below to more details).
However, the fight for decriminalization, gay rights, and justice for those experiencing persecution across the world is far from over. According to Amnesty International, it still stands that same-sex relationships are illegal in 70 countries and punishable by death in 9 including Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. In recent global news, recognition of Brunei’s law that punishes gay sex by stoning received international outlash, which prompted many celebrities and advocates to call for a blanket boycott of all hotels owned by Brunei’s sultan, including the Dorchester in London and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, as well as condemnation by the UN for “cruel and inhumane” actions by the country. Since then, the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has issued a statement that promises the country will not enforce this law, though this does not suggest that the law will be overturned or removed from penal code.
Even so, the effect of international support for the LGBT+ community is apparent. We at the WRC encourage you to take a stand for the rights of queer folk in our community and across the globe. It is not enough to simply believe in gay rights. We must be active advocates for those whose identities put them at risk for violence, poverty, and criminalization by using our voices and influence to change the world everyone’s for best interest, not only the people who mirror our own identities.
We invite you to join us in our support of LGBTQIA+ individuals and their supporters. We all have the ability and capacity to be advocates for change.
Links to referenced articles:
NPR, “Taiwan’s Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, A First In Asia”
Amnesty International: “LGBTI Rights”
Al Jazeera: “Brunei halts plan to punish gay sex with death by stoning”