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The Right Side human rights defender NGO congratulates the Trans and LGBIQ community on the occasion of Pride Month. Each year, representatives of the LGBTIQ community come together to celebrate June as Pride Month through parades, events, and celebrations. The purpose of Pride Month is to support LGBTIQ people and fight for equality, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the 2023 Global Gay Pride Calendar compiled by the International LGBTIQ+ Travel Association, 83 events will take place during Pride Month around the world this year, the most significant of which are the parades in Madrid, São Paulo, San Francisco, and New York, which are attended by up to 5 million people each year.
During Pride Month, it is important to talk about the successes and achievements of the LGBTIQ community: this year, the institution of marriage became a reality for LGBTIQ couples in Andorra, Cuba, Curaçao, Mexico, Slovenia, and Switzerland, conversion therapy was banned in Cyprus and India, in Spain trans people can already change their gender without psychological counseling, LGBTIQ couples in Taiwan have been given the opportunity to adopt children, and the Cook Islands has joined the ranks of countries that have decriminalized homosexuality. Although the Republic of Armenia has not yet introduced proper legislative regulations to ensure the equality of LGBTIQ persons, there is also positive progress, for example, this year the provision of the 2013 order of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia, according to which being gay was a ban on donating blood, was abolished.
“Right side” NGO actively deals with the issues of Trans and LGBIQ people in Armenia, providing hundreds of beneficiaries with free legal and psychological counseling, providing representation in courts, organizing various educational, and entertainment meetings and discussions, and providing the opportunity to participate in various professional trainings. Since 2016, as a result of the persistent work of the organization, the process of changing the name of trans persons has been facilitated, which is now possible without the testimony of 3 persons certifying that the person is transgender and a mandatory psychological conclusion. In 2017, for the first time in RA, the Right Side human rights defender NGO organized a Trans Camp, and in 2018, with the efforts of the legal team of the NGO, for the first time, the Court recognized discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, which is a precedent decision in RA. In 2022, the Right Side human rights defender NGO established a community safe center that hosts hundreds of Trans and LGBIQ people, their family members, and supporters every month. The organization also consistently collects and documents incidents of discrimination and violence against Trans and LGBIQ people; unfortunately, Trans and LGBIQ people in Armenia continue to face stigma, discrimination, oppression, and violence in various aspects of their lives, as evidenced by the calls for physical violence and hate documented over the past year.
In the face of these obstacles, the continued work and determination of Trans and LGBIQ activists and organizations operating in the field have great importance. The Right Side human rights defender NGO thanks all Trans and LGBIQ activists who have shouldered the hard work of fighting for equality and safety and are paving the way for progress. Today in Armenia, the adoption of a law criminalizing discrimination against LGBTIQ persons, the legal recognition of genders, access to medical services for trans persons, as well as the elimination of behaviors that perpetuate the atmosphere of impunity and inaction of the police are on the agenda.
We will continue to fight for every RA citizen to be accepted and respected, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender self-expression.
No one of us can be free until everybody is free.
Jun 9, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan