Human rights overview: Anti-gay backlash, but progress too

Published: December 5, 2014

Colin Stewart
Original Article:

In many of the 76-plus countries with anti-gay laws, LGBTI people have recently experienced a backlash from anti-LGBTI forces, even while the fight for LGBTI rights continues. But Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, says that it’s important not to forget progress that has been made in ensuring justice for all.

Q&A: How to tackle the backlash against gay rights?

Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (Sarah Shatz photo coutesy of

Almost 2.8 billion people are living in countries where identifying as gay could lead to imprisonment, corporal punishment or even death. In stark contrast, only 780 million people are living in countries where same-sex marriage or civil unions are a legal right.

These figures, reported by the International Lesbian and Gay Association in May 2014, show there is still much to be done in the effort to attain universal rights for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) communities worldwide. Yet there has also been significant progress over the past 10 years, and this too should be acknowledged.

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