“For a moratorium on the application of sentences against LGBT people”

Dn more than seventy countries around the world, lesbian, gay, bi or trans (LGBT) people can be condemned by law and thrown in prison. Sometimes they can even be executed simply because they are what they are. In 2006, the Idaho Committee [Day Against phobia, journée internationale contre l’phobie] called for decriminalization.

This text had been supported by more than 50,000 people and by many personalities: by Nobel Prize winners (such as Elfriede Jelinek, Desmond Tutu, José Saramago, Dario Fo, Amartya Sen), political leaders (such as Jacques Delors, former president of the European Commission, Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe), by renowned intellectuals (Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler), by international artists (Meryl Streep, David Bowie, Elton John, Victoria Abril), and by many international organizations (International Federation for Human Rights, International Lesbian and Gay ociation).

In 2008, this initiative resulted in a declaration at the United Nations General embly, supported by sixty-seven countries around the world. It was a historic first. But it is necessary to go further. This is why, today, we are proposing that the General embly of the United Nations adopt a moratorium on the application of sentences against LGBT people. It would only be a step, but an important step, pending the abolition of all criminal discrimination in this area.

A debate in civil society

Indeed, what we are asking of countries that penalize LGBT people is not that they renounce their philosophy, their values ​​or their religious beliefs, but that they suspend the application of the penalties as of now. Following the example of what has been done, not without success, in the campaign against the death penalty, several countries having adopted a moratorium on the application of the penalties, we invite the Member States of the General embly of the United Nations to vote on a resolution calling for the establishment of a moratorium on the application of sentences against LGBT people.

Some countries believe that public opinion is not yet ready, that the debate must first take place in civil society. Of course, the debate must take place around the world on phobia and transphobia, but this will necessarily take a long time. In the meantime, with a moratorium on the application of sentences, the countries concerned could save face, and we could save lives.

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