"We cannot and will not move backwards": UN Secretary-General's Message for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
17 May 2023
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.
Meanwhile, retrograde laws continue to criminalize LGBTQI+ people around the world, punishing them for simply being who they are.
Each assault on LGBTQI+ people is an assault on human rights and the values we hold dear.
We cannot and will not move backwards.
The United Nations firmly stands with the LGBTQI+ community, and will continue working until human rights and dignity are a reality for all people.
I renew my call to all Member States to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and end the criminalization of consensual same-sex relations and transgender people. Being yourself should never be a crime.
In keeping with this year’s theme — “Together Always: United in Diversity” — I call on the world to speak with one voice to eliminate the stigma, discrimination, harmful practices, and often deadly violence endured by LGBTQI+ people.
Human rights are non-negotiable. They belong to every member of the human family — no matter who they are or whom they love.
Let’s continue working to build a peaceful, just world in which all people are free and equal in dignity and rights.