Blog Alexander De Croo from New York - 9/21
New York, 21 September 2017 – Just imagine that all the time you have to act differently from what you really are. At the risk of losing your life. That you will never live together with the person you passionately love. A strange thought experiment? And yet this is reality for millions of LGBTI persons worldwide.
In 76 countries LGBTI persons face the risk of ending up in prison or even being killed, solely because they are themselves. Not a single cultural tradition can justify that this way these people are divested of their most fundamental rights. There is simply no valid excuse.
In order to join forces, to motivate each other and to inspire others, it is important that like-minded countries meet from time to time. Yesterday there was a meeting of the United Nations LGBTI Core Group, a group of like-minded countries fighting for LGBTI-rights.
At this meeting Belgium was praised for its long-standing commitment to equal rights for LGBTI persons. Belgium was the second country in the world to recognise same-sex marriages. . In Belgium LGB persons can adopt children since 2006 whereas the last few years we made decisive steps forward for transgenders as well. Yet, what I honestly didn’t know was that since 1795 same-sex intercourse is allowed. That was the time of the French occupation, but still…
The question is if we succeed in passing on the same freedom to those millions of LGBTI persons who are afraid to be themselves today. I am more than convinced and optimistic, even more so after the intervention of the Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat in which he described the fundamental turnaround Malta made in the course of the last few years. From a conservative and catholic country where LGBTI persons were facing difficulties to the recognition of same-sex marriages this year.
So it is possible. And it is necessary. For LGBTI rights are human rights.