When we talk about the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, we find it dominated by stories of discrimination, lack of equal rights and freedoms, defamation of character, and a hundred other ways in which the LGBTQIA+ community was oppressed for not fitting into the normative. But now, in the 21st century, governments of various countries are doing their part to achieve equal rights, freedom, and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community.
The government of Columbia is making headway in achieving marriage equality for same-sex couples and have even legalized adoption of children by same-sex couples. The country’s leaders have constantly expressed that the doubts and fears of the country’s public majority won’t affect their decisions as it can’t change the fact that a person’s sexual orientation or gender does not indicate a lack of suitability to interact with society in any way.
Nepal, joining a handful of other countries, added the option for the third gender- first and second being female and male- on their passport. The third gender added is quoted as “indeterminate”. Nepal also just got its first openly gay MP.
Mozambique is one of the few African nations to fight for equality and recently decriminalized homosexuality, dropping a “vice against nature” clause. The country allows activists like the Lambda organization to raise a voice for their cause which includes law change, counseling provisions, legal aid, and health advisories.
Germany recently banned gay conversion therapy of minors (under 18 years). People in violation of this law can face up to a year in prison and/or pay a fine of more than $30,000. Parents and legal guardians can be held guilty if found coercing their children into conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is one of the most atrocious acts committed historically and even now, against the LGBTQIA+ community. Labeling the abominable process as “therapy” has caused the spread of misinformation that it is carried out with non-violent and peaceful measures. However, a large part of conversion therapy includes practices like electric shocks and hypnosis. Similar laws have been passed in Switzerland and parts of Australia, Canada, and the U.S. outlawing conversion therapy.
The United States of America continues to make progress in achieving equal rights for the community. Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender workers from discrimination at workplaces, and prevents LGBTQIA+ members from being fired on the basis of their sexual orientation. This win proves that even with a homophobic white supremacist in the Office of the President of the U.S., the movement in the country of equal rights for members of the community thrives.
Change takes time but we are making progress. The progress that will allow us one day, a world where love is not discriminated against and acceptance is a core virtue for all. And until we are able to achieve such a world, we will keep fighting, loving, and rising. We will continue onwards with pride.