“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the inequalities existing in our societies, and marginalised still further those who were already most at risk. Many LGBTI people already faced discrimination in access to employment, housing and adequate health care, and the last few weeks have only exacerbated such harm,” said Fourat Ben Chikha (Belgium, SOC), the Assembly’s General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people, on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), 17 May 2020.
“Homophobia and transphobia – often spread by political leaders – harm individuals directly, and hinder progress towards equality. Over the last year, such progress has slowed and even stagnated in many countries. In others, the situation has worsened, and LGBTI people’s civil and political rights have been directly threatened,” he stated.
“Pride marches have been cancelled around the globe in face of the current pandemic – but now is no time for silence. LGBTI people must not be left behind. As parliamentarians, we must work harder than ever before to achieve equality for all,” he concluded.