Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Markus Löning issued the following statement today (17 May) to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia:
"I am gravely concerned by the fact that in many parts of the world people continue to be discriminated against, persecuted, intimidated or even murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Homosexuality is still illegal in more than 70 countries. The penalties attached include long prison sentences and capital punishment.
Homosexual, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people have a right to live in dignity, with respect for their privacy, without fear of violence or reprisals, discrimination or legal persecution.
I admire all activists – including those who campaign at great personal risk – who daily do battle to ensure that these rights are accepted and enforced by governments and societies alike.
Today on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I call on all states and governments to respect and uphold the universality and indivisibility of human rights."