Target: Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon
Goal: Show support for international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights
As the United States continues to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights,dozens of other countries are moving in the opposite direction. Nations including Nigeria, Uganda and Russia have enacted laws that severely punish those who are gay or lesbian, creating an atmosphere filled with hostility and intolerance.
For the world to demonstrate a true acceptance of and love for the LGBT community would demand broad support for the obliteration of discriminatory laws, and increased freedom for LGBT people to be who they are without fear of violence or imprisonment. On International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon called on the people of the world to band together and lend their voices to the cause.
Ki-moon discussed the stigma and bullying that people in the LGBT community face, often beginning at a young age. Many children are bullied and teased by their peers, and it is unfortunately common for families to reject those who have come out. This negativity drives many children to drop out of school, run away or even commit suicide. Even into adulthood the suffering continues. Many LGBT individuals are reluctant to discuss their personal lives for fear of persecution.
Currently 76 countries have laws aimed at punishing those with partners of the same sex with anything from fines to a lifetime in prison or worse. Police and other security forces have also targeted those in the LGBT community. Victims are sexually and physically assaulted, harassed, bullied and detained because of their sexual orientation. In such political climates those who are not supporters of the LGBT community have been known to rat those out who are, contributing to an atmosphere of intolerance and hate.
The ability to express who you are is a human right, and these 76 countries are clearly violating those rights. Help stop discrimination against the LGBT community and show your support for Ki-moon’s message of acceptance. Love should be celebrated, not hate.
Dear Secretary General Ki-moon,
As the United States is moving towards tolerance and acceptance there are 76 other countries on this planet who continue to persecute the LGBT community. They have laws that fine and imprison those who have same-sex partners because it is supposedly not part of the “natural order.” These laws perpetuate a society that is not accepting or tolerant, fueling an atmosphere of hatred. Those who do not fit the acceptable standards for sexuality are harassed, fined, teased, bullied, sexually and physically assaulted and denied their rights.
In order to create a world that is tolerant and accepting nations around the world need to see diversity celebrated. This is why I am writing this letter: to applaud your support for LGBT rights and to urge you to continue to work towards a world where all people are free to love without fear violence or persecution because of their sexuality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Martin Strachon via Wikimedia Commons