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On the fight to recognize LGBT rights as human rights

LGBT rights rally during the Pohela Boishakh in Dhaka. File 2015. (Credit: Nahid Sultan/Wikipedia)

For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we are talking to Mark Bromley, who launched the Council for Global Equality to advance a stronger U.S. foreign policy inclusive of gender identities and sexual orientations.

The council—a coalition that brings together international human rights activists, foreign policy experts, LGBT leaders, philanthropists and more—works with officials and policymakers to ensure that LGBT rights is recognized as human rights on the global policy stage. This is especially necessary to bolster LGBT rights in countries that still criminalize individuals simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or any other non-heterosexual, non-cisgender identities.

Mark Bromley of Council for Global Equality. (Photo by Pure Light Images)

Mark Bromley of Council for Global Equality. (Photo by Pure Light Images)

These days, we know that when we talk about LGBT rights, it’s more than just marriage equality (though that’s certainly part of it). Bromley explained that the council’s work often deals with the inequitable systemic forces that affect many LGBT individuals, like arbitrary police action, unfair laws directed toward LGBT citizens, hate crimes and more. We also touched on how seemingly non-LGBT-related issues, such as President Donald Trump’s travel ban, can actually affect vulnerable LGBT individuals greatly.

But of course, dealing with major bodies like the U.N. or managing multilateral ties has its challenges, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like LGBT rights. Bromley outlined both the challenges and some of the achievements that the international community has achieved in the past few years.

Before we get to the chat, I talk with chief editor Tom Paulson over the phone to discuss recent stories, including those on the follow-up to the Global Gag Rule and how to prevent teen pregnancy by talking about HIV. We also touched on pollution in India, and a very important meeting on climate change’s ‘urgent’ threats to public health. I’m calling all the way from the Big Apple, so don’t be alarmed when you hear me sounding like I’m in a subway tunnel or something of the sort.

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About Author

Imana Gunawan

Imana Gunawan is Humanosphere's social media manager and podcast producer. A University of Washington graduate in journalism and dance, Imana's interests include underrepresented communities, the intersection between politics and culture, global-local issues and the arts. She can be reached at @imanafg on Twitter or