Each assault on LGBTQI+ people is an assault on human rights: Guterres

UN secretary general Antonio GuterresFile photo

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has marked International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia urging the UN Member States to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ people.

The theme this year is— “Together Always: United in Diversity”. The UN chief called on the member states to eliminate the stigma, discrimination, harmful practices, and often lethal violence endured by LGBTQI+ people.

He also urged to eliminate retrograde laws that criminalise LGBTQI+ people around the world, punishing them for simply being who they are, reads a press release issued on Tuesday. 

“As we mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we face a stark fact. In every corner of the world, LGBTQI+ people continue to face violence, persecution, hate speech, injustice and even outright murder,” Guterres said.

Citing that the United Nations firmly stands with the LGBTQI+ community, and will continue working until human rights and dignity are a reality for all people, he said, “Each assault on LGBTQI+ people is an assault on human rights and the values we hold dear. We cannot and will not move backwards.”

“Human rights are non-negotiable. They belong to every member of the human family — no matter who they are or whom they love,” he further said.

He urged all member states to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and end the criminalisation of consensual same-sex relations and transgender people.

“Being yourself should never be a crime,” he said.

“Let’s continue working to build a peaceful, just world in which all people are free and equal in dignity and rights,” he added.