Commemorating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 16, 2015

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is a call to action, a plea to stand with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities (LGBTI) across the world and reaffirm our commitment to the equality and dignity of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination against LGBTI persons must end — and it must end now.

The human rights of LGBTI persons are fundamental and enshrined in the Universal Declaration. But while some parts of the world have seen tremendous progress in the fight to advance these fundamental rights and freedoms, we also know that in many countries, LGBTI communities still face discriminatory laws and practices that attack their dignity, undermine their safety, and violate their human rights. We each have a responsibility to oppose this rising tide of violence and discrimination. It’s absolutely the right thing to do, but beyond that, greater protection of human rights also leads to greater stability and prosperity.

The United States remains unwavering in our commitment to advance the human rights of LGBTI persons here at home and around the world. That’s why, in February, we appointed Randy Berry as our first Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons. And through the Global Equality Fund, we are providing critical assistance to organizations and human rights defenders in more than 50 countries who are courageously working to combat negative social attitudes and discrimination and build stronger allies in support of the human rights of LGBTI persons.

The United States will continue to promote and protect the rights of the LGBTI community. We will continue to speak out against the marginalization and persecution of LGBTI persons. And we will keep moving forward toward our shared goal of justice and equality for all.