"I was treated different because I was Aboriginal. We’re going to go treat gay and lesbian people differently? For why?"
~ Aboriginal elder, Harold Hunt. Recipient of the Order of Australia Medal.
“LGBTI people have the right to decide freely over their own body and sexuality, this is absolutely fundamental.
Because if just one person doesn’t have the right to be who they are, then how can we claim that human rights are for all and not just a privilege for some.”
~ Martin Bille Hermann, Denmark’s State secretary for Development Policy, to the UN LGBTI Core Group
“[The Minister’s] statement flies in the face of the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and association – and people are afraid to speak up. But we must remember that Tanzania would never have become independent were it not for the voices and actions of people who were opposed to the government at the time.”
~ Neela Ghoshal, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch on the crackdown against LGBT and other rights organizations
"I simply want to do the work I'm passionate about, and be seen by the people around me the way I see myself."
~ Alex Hai, the first openly trans gondolier in Venice, Italy
"...No puede ser que los prejuicios añejos sean más fuertes que el amor”
[I]t cannot be that old prejudices are stronger than love.
~ Chile President Michelle Bachelet speaking to legislators of her intention to reintroduce a draft Marriage Equality Law
"We are a largely religious people, and long may that be celebrated, but each passing decade of this millennium has brought with it a looking glass into a more diverse society — in our views and in our levels of tolerance."
~Royal Gazette op-ed, reflecting on the Bermuda Supreme Court decision for marriage equality
«Vous n'aurez pas ma haine» / “You will not have my hatred”
~ Etienne Cardiles in his moving eulogy of his partner Xavier Jugelé, the policeman killed during a terror attack on Champs Elysees.
“This fight is not only your fight. This fight is that of all Dominicans who believe in equality, inclusion and equal rights.”
Dominican Republic’s Minister of Women’s Affairs Janet Camilo to over 300 Latin America and Caribbean LGBT activists attending the third annual LGBTI Political Leaderships meeting
One form of fundamentalism or extremism is not a justification for another. Each is a reinforcing reminder of the global humanist crisis that lies before us. We must break out of this vicious circle that will leave youth globally facing a political landscape offering only a bleak choice of competing extremisms.
~ Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune in her report to the Human Rights Council
“We have much to lose, so much to protect”
~ UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein at the Opening ceremony of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council
"À l'heure où le monde est en train d'évoluer, à l'heure où certains pays ont instauré le mariage homosexuel et l'ont reconnu, la moindre des choses est de dépénaliser au Liban, ce qui constitue véritablement une liberté personnelle."
"At a time when the world is evolving, at a time when certain countries have established gay marriage and recognized it, the least thing to do is to decriminalize homosexuality in Lebanon, which really constitutes a personal freedom."
~ Former Lebanon MP Salah Honein wondering how it is possible to criminalize "a feeling".
“Strong efforts must be made to increase LGBT visibility amongst ordinary Nigerians as well as [showing] the average Nigerian the great strides that are being achieved with regards to LGBT rights in other parts of the world. It is a long and arduous journey ahead and the challenge must be met firmly and with courage and determination.”
~ 25-year-old gay man living in Nigeria to the Bisi Alimi Foundation in their report Not Dancing to Their Own Music
"We know that hatred and bigotry spread disease and – as the founders of this movement taught — silence equals death. Tolerance and awareness help stop AIDS. Speaking out protects life."
~ UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
"I like to remind others that LGBT people are just that – they’re people. They are worth just as much as anyone else. And they are born with the same inalienable rights as everyone else."
~ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepting the Elton John AIDS Foundation award for his work in AIDS and LGBT advocacy
"Madam Speaker, I am young, I am gay, I am black, a true blue Territorian... I am eternally proud of who I am and where I come from, I own it and wear it with pride."
~ Chansey Paech, Australia’s first openly gay aboriginal elected to Parliament speaking at the opening of the 13th Assembly of the Northern Territory.
“I am black I am gay. I cannot separate the two into secondary or primary struggles.”
~ activist Simon Nkoli before his death in 1998
“If one of you, my church members, is in pain, then I am in pain too...
Nothing that I heard in the last two days takes away from what the bishops have already said to people of LGBTI orientation. You are loved by God and all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ. We urge you to stick with us to play your full part in the deliberations to come."
~ Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba following the South African Anglican Church synod that voted against blessing same-sex unions
"We recognize that if we don't do politics, politics will do us."
~ Aleksei Korolyov, one of the first openly gay Russians to run for public office