What international gay rights issue do think we should pay attention to? 

This week SFGN launches “Speak OUT” a weekly feature giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT leaders.

Below are some of their answers:

Almost 3 billion people live in countries that imprison or murder our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Therefore, I think the issue of international LGBTQ rights is actually the issue about international LGBTQ rights that we should all be paying attention to. There is no one issue that should overshadow any other, they’re all equally important in the fight for worldwide LGBTQ equality, both legal and lived! I encourage everyone to visit www.TheGuardian.com to check out their interactive tool that provides insight about our equality on a global level.

— Victor Diaz-Herman, Executive Director, Pridelines Youth Services

I think "pay attention to" are the important words for the U.S. LGBT community in this question. Pride month has come and gone, with millions spent on corporate-sponsored floats, street parties and entertainment. I am all for celebrating Pride in a big way, but what if we poured that much energy and money into supporting our sisters and brothers around the world who are still fighting for their right to exist — like we used to do in the late 60s and 70s for our right to exist?

— Lea Brown, Senior Pastor, MCC of the Palm Beaches

Keep an eye on the countries that are pushing ahead for LGBT equality and visibility despite opposition. Last month, for example, Turkey’s LGBT community turned out by the tens of thousands for this year’s Pride Parade on Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul's main street. Homosexuality is not illegal there, but it also isn’t supported. This is believed to be largest public gay event in any Muslim-dominant country. 

— Toni Armstrong, Founder/Director of BLAST Women of WPB

An International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission report indicates discrimination and violence against lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people remains pervasive throughout Asia. The report notes laws that ban violence against women in Asia were “directly” or “indirectly discriminatory” because they do not extend “adequate protections — or in some cases any protections” to lesbians, bisexual women and trans people.

— Lori Lynch, Executive Director, LGBT Visitor Center of Miami Beach

With Impulse Group being an international brand with multiple chapters in the U.S. Mexico and New Delhi, looking at gay rights globally is something we continue to monitor and stay educated on. Many countries either socially or politically still do not accept gay rights to be a topic that needs to be addressed. When a nation can just take away basic civil rights like personal safety or freedom and even encourage violence on the LGBT community, that countries policies and procedures need to be addressed. Belief in Equality may be a personal matter however Practice of Equality should be a Global Matter

A.J. Alegria, President Impulse Group - South Florida


Visit SFGN.com/SpeakOut to see all of this week’s responses. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you know of a LGBT community leader that you believe should be a part of this list.