Ljubljana, 16 May 2014 – 17 May has been declared as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
17 May marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Both phenomena are present in all countries around the world, whether they have comprehensive non-discrimination legislation or they discriminate against or even criminalise individuals based on their sexual orientation. Individuals encounter many obstacles in all spheres of life: in the workplace, school, the healthcare system, family, and in society at large. Social stigmatisation remains a significant problem, also in Slovenia, and for this reason, human rights education is important as it contributes to awareness raising and acceptance of diversity in societies.
It is important to understand that human rights are universal, regardless of personal circumstances; this is a basis for the protection of human rights and freedoms, and must be translated into reality. It is worrisome that gender identity and sexual orientation are very often used as a pretext for human rights violations around the globe. Cultural, traditional and religious values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination, especially discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In its recent statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia raised concern over the prosecution of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) persons in some African countries and elsewhere.
Cases of intolerance against individuals because of their sexual orientation are present in Slovenia, too. In this regard, attention should be drawn to the importance of the Slovenian draft civil partnership act, which addresses the discrimination based on sexual orientation. Also, EU guidelines promoting and protecting the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons were adopted in 2013, and play an important role in this context.