Speaking Out Against the Rollback of LGBTQ+ Rights

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“Each assault on LGBTQI+ people is an assault on human rights and the values we hold dear. We cannot and will not move backwards,” declared António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his message to mark the 2023 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Yet despite recent progress, attacks on LGBTQ+ rights have been on the rise throughout the world in the last year. Amid escalating violence and hate, LGBTQ+ rights have also faced legislative attacks. Russia, for example, has designated the international LGBTQ+ movement as extremist. Iraq passed a law criminalizing same-sex relationships, with transgender people facing jail time. In Uganda, a law was passed that makes “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death. In the United States alone, over 600 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced since January 2023.

This May 17, to fight these attacks on LGBTQ+ rights — attacks that threatens rights we thought untouchable and the accompanying hate speech, which has even permeated the political arena — Havas Montréal and Fondation Émergence are launching a campaign around the theme “A rollback of LGBTQ+ rights is a setback for all society.”

As Fondation Émergence’s Executive Director Laurent Breault explains, “current times show us that nothing can be taken for granted and when the rights of a group of people are threatened then we open the door for a rollback of other fundamental rights.”

In addition to a film and a poster campaign exposing a discourse and violence that belong in the past, the campaign’s deployment also includes the publication of the LGBTQPHOBIC AGENDA. This agenda looks back at 2023, documenting and denouncing 365 acts of hatred or violence carried out against the LGBTQ+ community.

Additionally, the first ever Backwards March in the world will take place on May 17 in Montréal. For the occasion, hundreds of protesters will march backwards, a strong symbol highlighting the need to fight the rollback in LGBTQ+ rights.

View the full campaign here.


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