International LGBTQ+ Day

June 28, 2023

Protections and rights for LGBTQ+ individuals are upheld at the highest level of international law, yet many people still face high levels of violence and discrimination.

In the United States, 560 anti-trans bills have been introduced in 49 states; 83 bills have passed state legislatures and 79 have been signed into law.

In Uganda, President Museveni signed one of the world’s most restrictive anti-homosexuality bills in May 2023, severely curtailing the safety and freedom of Uganda’s LGBTQ+ community. Similar legislation has been proposed in Kenya.

There is no coincidence between the number of anti-trans and anti-gay bills being introduced in the United States and the passage of the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda. A network of conservative American religious organizations have supported both the United States anti-trans bills as well as the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill. Alliance Defending Freedom has been named by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Axios as a driving force behind anti-trans and anti-gender affirming care in the United States. Open Democracy has also named Alliance Defending Freedom among a list of influential American Christian organizations that have given money to African countries to support anti-gay legislation.

We, at the Aspen Global Innovators New Voices Fellowship, understand the intersectional importance of LGBTQ+ rights in conversations around health and well-being. We uplift the voices and opinions of our Fellows who work to uphold the rights and dignity of all people. We acknowledge the outsized influence that American religious organizations have in the LGBTQ+ politics in other countries, particularly Africa.

On this International LGBTQ+ Pride Day, we encourage you to learn more about the LGBTQ+ activism of New Voices Fellows—as well as other noteworthy publications from the Aspen Institute—by exploring the list of resources on the Aspen Institute blog.