Throughout the world, members of the LGBTQ community continue to struggle for their rights. In some countries, they have made some progress. In 2016, 20 countries legally recognized marriage for same-sex couples (Human Rights Campaign, 2016). However, in other countries, the LGBTQ community faces much greater obstacles, and the consequences of fighting for basic rights are grave for both LGBTQ individuals and allies. Being gay is a crime punishable by death in 10 countries and is illegal in a total of 73 countries (Human Rights Campaign, 2016). Because of the violence and social exclusion experienced globally, LGBTQ individuals may seek refugee status because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression (UN High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], 2016).
To prepare: Read the United Nations Address on Global LGBT Rights by Hilary Clinton.
Submit a 2 to 4 page detailed explanation of your reaction to this essay. Then, explain why, in the context of practicing social work in North America, it is important for us to acknowledge and address sexual orientation and gender diversity of marginalized populations across the world. Explain the role of social workers on an international level in relation to the rights of the LGBTQ community. Identify specific skills and actions you would employ as an advocate.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Protecting Persons with Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities: A Global Report on UNHCR’s Efforts to Protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Asylum-Seekers and Refugees, December 2015, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/566140454.html [accessed 7 October 2017]