UN chief Ban Ki-Moon: It is everyone’s responsibility to speak out against homophobia

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has urged for everyone around the world to speak out against discrimination, and has launched a new video to mark IDAHOT.

The Secretary General said in a blog: “In all parts of the world today, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experience discrimination in every aspect of daily life.

“As children, too many are bullied by their peers, rejected by their own families, driven to drop out of school.

“As adults, too many suffer stigma, unfair treatment, even violence.

“In 76 countries, having a partner of the same sex is even a prosecutable crime. People are arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases executed, just because they are in a loving relationship.

“As Secretary-General of the UN, I believe in and strive to achieve the world promised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a world rooted in tolerance, freedom and equality; a world where we are ALL free to live a life of dignity.

“There are no exceptions. Human rights are for everyone, no matter who you are or whom you love.

“Changing people’s attitudes takes time, effort and perseverance.

“It takes us all to speak up and speak out against homophobia, even when it’s presented as harmless fun or as an accepted cultural trait. It’s not. It’s discrimination.

“And it’s our responsibility to fight it and to strive for a world that is truly free and equal.”

Speaking about the Free & Equal campaign, he added: “The video focuses on the impact that each of us can have by sharing our own stories and by showing our support for our LGBT colleagues, friends and family members.

“I encourage you all to watch the video and share it to help spread the word.”

Last month, the UN released a Bollywood themed video, to mark a campaign against India’s re-criminalisation of homosexuality.