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SALZBURG GLOBAL LGBT FORUM

Past Program

Jun 14 - Jun 19, 2015

Global LGBT Forum - Strengthening Communities: LGBT Rights & Social Cohesion

Session 551

Abstract

The free expression of sexuality and gender identity has become a defining characteristic of tolerant, pluralistic, and democratic societies in the 21st century. In the context of the continuing globalization of the LGBT* human rights movement, positive advances of and backlashes against LGBT rights are now increasingly interconnected at a previously unseen scale. 

The challenges confronting the LGBT and human rights movements are no longer only national or regional. They are influenced by a multitude of factors at the global level. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is therefore working to advance civil dialogue through further developing  an active network of global LGBT and human rights actors. The Forum’s goal is to negotiate these interconnected global challenges and advance the free and equal rights of all LGBT people. 

In 2015 the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum will focus on social cohesion, including how social justice and fundamental freedoms are addressed at a time when the global LGBT movement  is facing significant challenges. Socially cohesive societies require targeted investments in many areas, such as  democratic institutions, families and communities (including alternative families), social justice and human rights activists, education and employment, housing, and protection from hate crimes and bullying. 

The 2015 Global LGBT Forum will focus on social cohesion as a central issue for LGBT communities across the world, whether in societies still fighting for equal treatment or those struggling against brutal exclusion and marginalization. The Forum will maintain its open and holistic framing, ensuring broad background and perspectives as well as participation of artists; critical thinkers; and spiritual leaders. 

*LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is currently widely used in human rights conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as exclusive of other cultural concepts, contemporary or historical, to express sexuality and gender, intersex and gender-nonconforming identities.

Participant Profile

This session brought together 60 participants from all regions of the world, 40 of them from non-Western countries. Among others they included: lawyers and law makers; political and community leaders; representatives from human rights organizations; representatives of LGBT cultural and political organizations; representatives of religious groups; film-makers, artists and writers. Many of our participants were younger leaders who will be making change into the middle of this century.

Series Overview

The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was formed in cooperation between its Founder and Chair, Dr. Klaus Mueller (kmlink Consultancy) and Salzburg Global Seminar to establish a truly global space to reflect upon and advance the LGBT and Human Rights discussions around the world.  Its signature is the truly global representation of leaders from diverse fields – including human rights, legal, artistic and religious backgrounds.
The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is a network of expertise through which we facilitate conversations needed to advance equal rights for LGBT people across the world. The Forum currently includes representatives from more than 35 countries, facilitating an open dialogue on critical issues facing LGBT communities in diverse contexts – from China, to India, to Russia, to Uganda, to Venezuela.

Please click here to learn more about the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum.

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"Family is..."

Starting at the 2015 Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, as part of a planned three-year collaboration with the Ministry, we have started the “Family is...” project, through which members of the Forum share their concept of what family means to them. “Family is...” portrays the complexities of our lives, including those of our  families by birth and choice. The project uses storytelling as a means of  advancing LGBT human rights and equality. Through telling and sharing  original and authentic stories, we seek to challenge misrepresentations of sexual and gender diversity, and help understand the similarities and differences.  

Download the report (low-res PDF)