Hundreds to attend global LGBT rights conference in Mexico

Published: October 22, 2014

Washington Blade
Michael K. Lavers
Original Article:

Nearly 400 advocates from around the world are expected to attend a global LGBT rights conference next week in Mexico City.

Dennis and Judy Shepard are among those scheduled to speak at the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) World Conference that will take place in the Mexican capital from Oct. 27-31. Ty Cobb of the Human Rights Campaign, Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First, Urooj Arshad and Ariel Cerrud of the Washington-based Advocates for Youth and advocates from Cuba, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and dozens of other countries are also expected to attend.

“We are happy that delegates to the conference come from government, academia, inter-governmental and activist organizations,” ILGA Co-Secretary General Gloria Careaga Pérez told the Washington Blade.

The Shepards — who have traveled to Jamaica, Poland and other countries in recent years on State Department-sponsored trips — are scheduled to take part in a panel on families during the ILGA conference with advocates from the U.S., Brazil and India. They also plan to meet with LGBT children and their parents through the U.S. Embassy while in Mexico City.

“Dennis and I are excited to be able to meet so many amazing activists from ILGA next week,” Judy Shepard told the Washington Blade in a statement. “We’re very much looking forward to learning from the other participants.”

Davis Mac-Iyalla, a gay Nigerian advocate who sought asylum in the U.K. in 2008, had a similar sentiment.

“I hope to learn from others attending the conference across the world [about] how they are leading human rights issues in their locality,” he told the Blade. “[I] will share those experiences with my Nigeria brothers and sisters in the movement.”

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