London, 17 May 2013

In commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, LI LGBT Rights Working Group Chair Frank van Dalen stressed that liberals and LGBT activists and organizations from around the world should work together in order to promote the emancipation of LGBT people and combat violence and discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

At last year’s Congress in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberal International brought together, for the first time, grassroots African LGBT activists who shared their visions with liberals from around the world, including many African politicians. LI was active in lobbying the UN for international coordination to promote equality and to pressure and condemn those states that continue to persecute and discriminate against the LGBT community. Liberal International was the only political international present at the world conference of the International Gay and Lesbian Association, where we offered a workshop and connected with hundreds of LGBT activists from around the world.

Today, as the world marks International Day against Homophobia, LI is preparing next steps in the long fight against bigotry and discrimination against the LGBT community. LI’s leadership calls for unity and partnership between liberal politicians and LGBT activists around the world.

As LI Deputy President Dr. Juli Minoves put is, “A strong network of liberal parties and LGBT organizations can advance the work of brave LGBT rights activists. Liberals and LGBT activists should join forces. Liberal International offers its commitment to such partnership.”

Or as LI LGBT Rights Working Group Coordinator Frank Van Dalen announced today, “It is time to recognize that it is our duty to promote and foster partnerships between liberal political parties and LGBT organizations, as it is these kinds of partnerships that can really make a difference. While some LGBT activists in certain countries have challenges connecting with political parties, some politicians are equally afraid of being identified with LGBT themes. We have to tackle these obstacles together, as it is only by overcoming them that we can generate new pro-LGBT possibilities; especially in countries with state-sponsored homophobia.”