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2012 saw mixed record on global LGBT issues

Advocates for global LGBT rights had high hopes this year following the release of the United Nations' first-ever report on global queer rights and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's order that U.S. embassies support LGBT rights. The call to action remained high throughout 2012 on the agendas of the U.N., the U.S., and the European Union. At the same time, 2012 saw a vicious global backlash that wound up being a constant threat throughout the year, particularly in Africa, Russia, and Eastern Europe.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

1st January 2013 04:12

Alessia Valenza | ILGA North America

The year wasn’t completely grim. Much progress was made toward LGBT rights.

Russian and Ugandan LGBT activists fought back in the face of death. Honduras and Kenya, two countries not always associated with acceptance for LGBTs, saw openly gay candidates running for congressional seats, David Kuria of Kenya and Erick Vidal Martinez of Honduras, respectively. While they didn’t win their seats, it was a win for the local LGBT communities.

Justice finally came to Zoliswa Nkonyana, a South African lesbian who was raped and murdered by four men. The men were sentenced to serve 18 years in prison.

In South America, Chile made great gains. Karen Atala won her case against the government at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, safeguarding LGBT parental rights in the country, and Jaime Parada Hoyl, spokesman of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, became the country’s first openly gay elected official, grabbing a municipal council seat in Providencia. Chile finally passed an anti-discrimination law to protect LGBT individuals after the death of openly gay Daniel Zamudio by alleged neo-Nazis.

Argentina passed a landmark gender identity bill.

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