LGBTQ+ rights

On a hot New York night in 1969, a police raid on a gay bar reshaped millions of lives. The raid on the Stonewall Inn led to riots as hundreds of members of the LGBTQ+ community fought back.

At that time, same-sex relationships were criminalised in most US states and across many other countries. Couples had to meet in secret, unable to express their sexuality and feelings openly.

The riots inspired progress for LGBTQ+ rights. On the first anniversary, the first Gay Pride parade took place in New York City. Since then, the movement has seen countless advances across the globe.

2001: The Netherlands becomes the first country to make same-sex marriage legal.

2009: Iceland elects the first openly gay head of state, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.

2011: The United Nations passes a resolution protecting gay and trans people from violence and discrimination.

Today, Pride events take place in over 150 cities around the world, and same-sex marriage is legal in 26 countries. Sadly, much of last year’s Pride movement was postponed or moved online because of Covid-19 – in a political climate when visibility for the LGBTQ+ movement remains important.

There are 72 countries where same-sex relationships are still illegal. According to Stonewall, a quarter of the world’s population believes that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime. Between 2008 and 2014, 1,612 trans people were killed in hate crimes.

Read Our Stories

Assembly

In June, the top US court ruled that employers who fire workers for being gay or trans are breaking the country’s civil rights laws. This report explains what the “landmark moment” means for LGBTQ+ people globally.

Activities

  1. Without looking at a dictionary, write definitions for the following words: love, equality, pride, discrimination.
  2. Make a timeline of important historical moments for LGBTQ+ rights.
  3. Research a famous LGBTQ+ figure and create a short presentation about their life and achievements.