France pledges to support LGBTI rights defenders

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – Message from M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Paris, 17 May 2016

Dear friends,

On this International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I would like to send you a message – first of all, to pay tribute to the work of all those who defend LGBTI people’s rights, and to tell you that France will continue to play a driving role in ensuring international law on the matter is complied with and furthered.

Today, in more than 70 countries, homosexual relations are punished by prison or even the death penalty. In others, homosexuality and transexuality are regarded as illnesses that should be “cured”. All this is unacceptable and deeply intolerable!

France cannot resign itself to this. It has worked hard to put the issue on the United Nations’ agenda. Progress has been made, but it is still insufficient. So we must continue our active efforts to achieve a clear goal: the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

We shall continue to support all actions carried out at local level, particularly for defenders of LGBTI people’s rights and those who are most under threat. In my visits, I have had the opportunity to meet various NGOs and to realize the difficulty at local level. Our ambassadors are therefore playing a fully active role.

France is also providing financial support and would like development funds to provide more help for LGBTI people, particularly in the health sector, where discrimination is very serious. As the second-largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France will focus even more on this.

We must also set ourselves an example, promote diversity and equality, and combat all forms of discrimination within our own organizations. As Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, I am especially mindful of this.

Beyond this day of mobilization, the doors of the Quai d’Orsay and of our embassies will always be open to human rights defenders and therefore to defenders of the rights of LGBTI people. Thank you./.

Published on 20/05/2016

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