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ILGA's 'End of the Century' Message

Compiled by GayToday

ilgacandle.jpg - 6.38 K Brisbane, Australia-- A Candlelight Vigil Against Homophobia held here August 31 was the recipient of a message from ILGA, the International Gay and Lesbian Association.

The message reflects, four months prior to the end of the century, on the growth of collective awareness. It also critiques conditions in Queensland, where homophobic violence has flared. The communication was read aloud. It said:

"As the end of this century approaches, we pride our selves on the development of our 'humanity'. We have, as a species, worked hard to eradicate slavery - although this is still practiced; we have sought to raise women to a position of equality with men - although there remains a long way to go; and we have, partly in response to the atrocities of World War 2, tried to set a minimum standard of human rights for all global citizens.

"In this last --a notable failure has been the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens from everyday violence. Violence is so much a product of fear and lack of understanding. We can help combat violence by helping to educate people, and thus helping to remove the fear that drives them. But this can never be our struggle alone.

"As with any group of people, targeted for discriminatory treatment, we need the support of law enforcement, of education institutions, of courts, of governments and of society. The violence perpetrated on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Queensland recently shows what a short distance we have come - and how far we really have to go.

"We say that 'LGBT rights are human rights' and we mean that we have the right to enjoy the freedom to be who we are - without fear of attack, of vilification, or violence. Across the world, we continue our struggle to enjoy our human rights.

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"ILGA sends greetings of solidarity, of love and of support. Together, we will win, and together we will be safe and together we will grow."

The communication was signed by Jennifer Wilson and Jordi Petit, Secretaries General of the International Lesbian and Gay Association

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