The Brazilian Government launched on Tuesday, 29/04, the 1st National Conference for Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals (LGBT). The event, the first in the world to be convened by a government, is a result of demands made by civil society and the Brazilian government’s support of LGBT people’s rights. The Conference will be held from June 5th to 8th in Brasília (DF), having as its theme “Human rights and public policies: the way forward for guaranteeing the citizenship of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals”.
During the conference public policies will be defined for this segment of the population and a National Plan for the Promotion of LGBT Citizenship and Human Rights will also be prepared. An evaluation will also be made of the Brazil Without Homophobia programme to combat violence and discrimination against the LGBT population, launched by the federal government in 2004. The programme of the 1st National LGBT Conference is available at www.conferencianacionalglbt.com.br .
The holding of the Conference coincides with the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirms the federal government’s commitment to the issue of LGBT human rights. Marta Suplicy, Tourism Minister and a longstanding supporter of LGBT rights, commemorated the initiative. “At long last, after so many years, we are finally able to hold this Conference. It’s a giant’s stride forward for Brazil”.
For the Justice Minister, Tarso Genro, the LGBT Conference is a demonstration of respect for the human condition. “A human rights agenda that does not contemplate this issue is incomplete”. Also present at the ceremony to launch the Conference were the Minister of the Special Department for Human Rights, Paulo Vannuchi; Senator Fátima Cleide, of the Parliamentary Front for LGBT Citizenship; the Minister of the Department for Racial Equality Policies, Edson Santos; the Minister of the Special Department for Women’s Policies, Nilcéa Freire, and the directors of the Ministry of Health’s National STD and AIDS Programme, Mariângela Simão and Eduardo Barbosa.
All the Brazilian LGBT networks were also represented at the launch ceremony: ABGLT (Brazilian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Association); ANTRA (National Articulation of Trans Persons); National Collective of Transsexuals; Brazilian Articulation of Lesbians; LGBT Afro Network; Brazilian League of Lesbians; ABRAGAY; Grupo E-Jovem (youth).
The Conference was convened by Decree issued by Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and published in the Official Federal Gazette on November 29th 2007. Approximately 700 delegates are expected to take part in the Conference, with 60% civil society participation and 40% governmental participation. The participation of a further 300 observers is also expected. 16 ministries have collaborated with the process of drafting the base-text document on public policies to be discussed during the event and subsequently implemented.
The base-text is available at http://www.conferencianacionalglbt.com.br/view/templates/arquivos/Texto_Base%20Ing.pdf
Prior to the National Conference, conferences are currently being held in Brazil’s 27 states, convened by the state governors, in order to develop complementary proposals for the national policy document, define state-level policies and elect the delegates to the National Conference. More than 100 conferences have also been held at municipal level.
According to Toni Reis, president of the Brazilian Gay, Lesbian and Trans Association (ABGLT), “the Conference will be an unprecedented opportunity for discussion not only within the LGBT movement, but principally with the government so that public policies for LGBT will be put into effect by all areas of the government. It will also pave the way towards the Brazilian Congress taking a more positive stance towards outstanding LGBT issues, such as the approval of the proposed laws to penalize homophobic discrimination and legalize same sex civil union.”
Toni Reis – President of ABGLT (Brazilian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Association):
firstname.lastname@example.org ; + 55 41 3232 9829 / +55 41 3222 3999 / +55 41 9602 8906 / +55 61 8181 2196.
Léo Mendes – ABGLT Communications Secretary: email@example.com ; +55 62 8405 2405
Press Office – 1st National LGBT Conference – President of the Republic’s Office Special Department for Human Rights: www.conferencianacionalglbt.com.br ; Tel: +55 61 3429 3986
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