When Being LGBT Can Cost You Your Life

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community experiences myriad inequalities all across the globe. There are more than 70 countries where it is illegal to be LGBT, eight where state-sanctioned death penalty is the punishment, and often times, even in countries where being yourself is lawful, many LGBT people are treated as second-class citizens. It is imperative for Sustainable Development Goal 10 to work toward reducing inequalities among all people, including the LGBT community.

At GLAAD, our mission is to accelerate acceptance of LGBT people by utilizing the news media to tell stories of everyday LGBT people and the entertainment media to portray fair and accurate LGBT diversity. We know that you cannot legislate acceptance and that human rights are achieved through a receptive culture. Our global work is built on the foundation that local organizations are the best catalysts for change, and we support them with our media expertise. We’ve experienced success with this all around the world — from Nigeria, to Ireland, to Chile, to the United States.

In 2014, Nigeria signed into law the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act,” which condemns married same-sex couples to 14 years in prison. LGBT advocates in Nigeria noted that the act allowed members of law enforcement to severely violate the human rights of alleged “culprits.” Widely supported by members of the Nigerian public, GLAAD partnered with the Bisi Alimi Foundation and The Initiative for Equal Rights in Nigeria to assess Nigerians awareness, perception, and levels of acceptance of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community in the country. The resulting poll showed that while support for the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act” was high, it had decreased by almost 10 percent in the past five years — indicating a positive, albeit gradual, shift. On average, only 17 percent of Nigerians surveyed knew —> Read More