On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India held the country’s 1938 British anti-sodomy law unconstitutional. That decision lifted the threat of criminal sanction from 1.3 billion people. But 1.7 billion people in more than 75 countries around the globe remain subject to these colonial-era anti-LGBTIQ statutes prohibiting and penalizing same-sex adult relationships. From Kenya and Nigeria to Jamaica to Singapore, teams of lawyers and activists are challenging these laws in at least nine countries currently. It is a time of growing public awareness of he crushing effects of these antiquated laws, and of intensified calls for change among business and civil society leaders. Meanwhile, some of the American evangelical leaders and religious legal organizations with the most extreme anti-LGBTQ views have taken their crusades overseas. While most continue their anti-equality campaigns in the United States, many also have joined forces with religious and political extremists in Africa, Europe, parts of Asia and elsewhere. They are helping to fuel right-wing movements and oppose legal reform efforts, often peddling the debunked junk science about LGBTQ people the US courts have rejected in the marriage and parenting cases and in current litigation about transgender identity. This panel will examine litigation, repeal and reform efforts underway globally, the goals and impacts of American anti-LGBTQ hate groups, and positive influences Americans and American institutions can provide.
Speakers: Jenny Pizer (Lambda Legal); Fabiana Quaini (Quaini Law Firm); Keola Whittaker (McGuireWoods); Sahar Moazami (OutRight); Ping "Hoping" Hou (OutRight Action International)