Full Circle

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“It was so precious for me to see people really change their mindset about the problems they face. That’s what I want for my people.” ~ Sarah Rogers, Elder and Cultural Support Worker, Inuvik

Part of being human is getting hurt. Sometimes we hurt others; sometimes others hurt us. We even hurt ourselves. Holding onto this hurt and allowing it to dictate the course of our lives can have negative long-term consequences. Forgiveness can change the shape of our journeys. It can release anger, fear, judgement and resentment, and open the door to peace and a positive future.

FULL CIRCLE offers customized forgiveness programs for hurt people and communities. We excel in creating safe, experiential opportunities for people of all ages to explore what forgiveness means—and doesn’t mean—in their lives.  We also consult with non-profits, employers, community groups and schools interested in restorative solutions to repairing harm and peace building.

Who We Are

foundersWe, Katy Hutchison and Shannon Moroney, have walked the difficult and complex paths to forgiveness in our own lives. Now we work together to help our clients do the same.

We are Canadian women affected by violent crime, best-selling authors, sought-after public speakers, and advocates of restorative justice. We are volunteers with Leave Out Violence (LOVE), members of the international Forgiveness Project and we share our stories around the world. We first partnered in 2009 to create the F-Word, an experiential workshop designed to give participants an opportunity to explore what Forgiveness means and its transformative potential for healing. Since then, we have brought our life-changing programs to diverse settings in communities around the world.  

SHANNON MORONEY  was a teacher and counsellor when her husband kidnapped and boy orange3sexually assaulted two women in 2005. After personally discovering the lack of help available for families of criminals, and the vast ripple-effect of violent crime, she became a restorative justice advocate who speaks internationally on the topic.

In 2011, Shannon published her memoir Through the Glass, which became an instant national bestseller and was nominated for several awards, including the Governor General’s Award. In 2015, she co-produced “In Harm’s Way” for CBC Radio’s The Current. She lives in Toronto where she is remarried and the mother of twins.

KATY HUTCHISON was widowed and left with four year old twins following the murder of her husband in 1997. In meeting with the young man responsible, she learned that the only way through the trauma was by forgiveness and education.

Her memoir, Walking After Midnight (2006), was endorsed by the Dalai Lama and inspired Lifetime Network’s movie “Bond of Silence” (2010). Katy received the Me to We Social Action Award (2005) and was nominated for the Courage to Come Back award (2003). In 2013 she delivered a TEDx talk on rethinking education. Katy lives in Victoria. She speaks internationally on social responsibility & restorative justice issues.

For more information or to Learn more visit Fullcircle


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Canada & Greeders ~ The Hidden Hatred

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I have watched, listened and learnt so lets talk about Canada, where men account for three terry-2015out of every four suicides, with seven men dying by suicide every day. And the risk is even greater for gay and bisexual men. Where the middle class and above are cherished, honored and respected and all others degraded and sentenced to a life of struggles, desperation the result of most suffering from mental health issues, resulting in…suicide. The hidden hatred within it’s walls for the most vulnerable of it’s population,  LGBT peoples, Indigenous people’s, Muslin peoples and outsiders if you will etc, a place where still today Racism still runs ram-pit, not to mention a place that even women are beaten and badder beyond belief and murdered or cast out and Homelessness is raging out of control for forks sake , and I can go on.

Now at a ripe 56 years old and an OUT non-closeted member of the hidden LGBT community in Canada all my life I know only too well the difference between doing whats right because it’s legislation and doing whats right because it’s comes from the heart. Being called names, beaten up and even sexually assaulted, also where for the most part kids and adults alike are being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder which is the norm.

slide_360376_4031618_compressedAnd due to this perception by society, which sickens me to the core, I am shocked when I realize the closeted LGBT people I have met over the years in Canada whom still hide and spend their whole life suffering in pain and anguish, hiding behind a woman in marriage or just a relationship terrified to be themselves.

In Canada, only one in five people with depression get appropriate treatment. And in Ontario, only one in three patients discharged from psychiatric hospitalization will get a follow-up within the month. Why is Canada doing so poorly in helping people with mental illness? {because it’s not from the heart but rather for Greed~Terry.K}

Dr. Paul Kurdyak and Sanjeev Sockalingam explain why treatment is so difficult to come by. Paul Kurdyak is an expert advisor with EvidenceNetwork.ca, a psychiatrist and clinician scientist at CAMH (the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). Sanjeev Sockalingam is a psychiatrist and Deputy Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the University Health Network and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.

With all due respect I also have to say that more than 70 countries have Anti-Gay Laws (Death penalty) which include country’s like Russia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Iran to name a few.

I do have respect for the leaders of these counties in question (excluding the newly formed American Government, whom should know better) for being honest unlike, Canada whom have created fake legislation said to protect all citizens, that I have fought and suffered to obtain more than 30 years, which in reality, I believe it’s only to quit those protesting, because as sure as I sit here, they will stick a knife in your back the first chance they get whom I have no respect for at all.

As a survivor of a suicide attempt at 19 years of age I now long for my time to cease on this planet, which I truly believe to be hell.

There are only two types of people I despise, and that is Liar’s, perjurer, deceiver’s and thieves, call them what you like but Canada is over whelmed with this type of individual that I call Greeders whom will walk on or over anyone to satisfy their own needs & greed, the place that if you Rob a bank, your life is finished but that same bank can rob you without repercussions.

Millions of people continue to live in places that outlaw same sex relationships and prosecute people for being gay. In five countries and in parts of two others, homosexuality is still punishable with the death penalty, while a further 70 imprison citizens because of their sexual orientation. ~ United Nations Feb 10, 2014.

slide_360376_4031617_compressedBelow is what one man from Ireland had to say about living in Canada after immigrating here to Vancouver and being here just five years, this is an excerpt from his review Pros & Cons of living in Canada:

High taxes, not just on wages but on everything you purchase and sometimes yearly on certain things like the value assessed property tax, high commercial tax, high living tax, just high tax on everything like GST and HST.

The pay gap between struggling and comfortable is so far removed from reality that half the people in Vancouver can’t afford to leave Vancouver because it costs so much just to survive.

Services, all of them are expensive. I never once imagined an incoming call could be considered a charge.

I have once again filed a Claim in The Federal Court of Canada against the Royal Bank of Canada on January 21, 2017 and I don’t even know if it’s been accepted or declined to date!

These are a few of my thoughts on the evils and how my Country has failed me!

Article by Terry.K posted Febuary 5, 2017

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U.N. Panel Moves to Curb Bias Against L.G.B.T. People

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GENEVA The United Nations’ main human rights body on Thursday adopted measures to strengthen protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, despite fierce resistance from Muslim and African countries.

smilie-teacher2The body, the 47-member Human Rights Council, voted to appoint an independent expert to monitor and report on violence against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation rainbowand gender identity. The initiative passed, 23 to 18, with six abstentions.

The vote came after a heated debate during which supporters invoked the victims of the Orlando, Fla., massacre and opponents denounced the measure on religious and cultural grounds.

The debate lasted nearly four hours and was peppered with procedural motions and amendments intended to scuttle the initiative or water it down.

The expert will look into ways to curb violence against gay, bisexual and transgender people; report annually on developments; and support national efforts to combat violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

But the Saudi Arabian ambassador, Faisal Bin Hassan, filed a motion to block the resolution, saying that it “ran counter to our beliefs and culture.”

Pakistan’s ambassador, Tehmina Janjua, saying the resolution promoted “certain notions, concepts and lifestyles on which there is no consensus,” proposed a series of amendments on behalf of Islamic states that would have stripped all reference to sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Remember Orlando,” the Mexican ambassador, Jorge Lomónaco, told the packed council chamber. “Let us give hope and dignity to millions.”

discriminationThe Nigerian envoy, Peters Omologbe Emuze, objected even to the title of the resolution: “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The British ambassador, Julian Braithwaite, said in response: “By voting against this resolution you are voting to block the U.N. from trying to stop violence and discrimination. How is that acceptable?”

“This affects people in this room, and people in my team who are L.G.B.T.,” he continued. “Are you saying it is O.K. to discriminate against them based on their sexual orientation and gender identity? To hit, torture, or possibly kill them? Because that is what you are supporting, if you vote against this resolution.”

Human rights groups hailed the outcome.

peace“By creating a U.N. expert, the Human Rights Council has given official voice to those facing violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the world over,” John Fisher, the Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

“There can be no turning back.”

Article  for the New York Times bJune 30, 2016

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Read Secretary John Kerry’s full statement on the historic vote on the‪ #‎HRC32‬ Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to create an Independent Expert to address challenges facing #LGBT persons

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Fanning hints at implementing trans service in Pride video

Untitled-2“It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.” ~ Confucius

smileys-cz-7Weeks after his confirmation as the first-ever openly gay Army secretary, Eric Fanning has created a video celebrating June as Pride month on behalf of the U.S. Army. In the aftermath of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, Fanning recalls that just four years ago the Pentagon hosted its first official celebration commemorating Pride for its service members and Defence Department officials. 

Untitled-1“We’ve grown stronger as a military, and as a nation, as we’ve worked to be more inclusive and open up opportunities for individuals who previously didn’t have them, opportunities for people to be part of the greatest mission there is: Defending our nation’s security,” Fanning said.

Ticking off progress in implementing racial integration after World War II, allowing openly gay people to serve and permitting women in combat, Fanning hints at removing another barrier in the armed forces — the ban on openly transgender waving-soldierservice — in the time ahead.

“As we continue to open up opportunities for even more Americans, we get closer to the full American Dream that we represent and protect,” Fanning said. “The threats we face as a nation are growing more complex, and we are better open to meet those challenges in we pull from the best all our country has to offer.”

The Pride video comes on the heels of an interview in which Fanning participated on the smilie-don3“Today Show” with Matt Launer, who asked the secretary if he appreciates being referred to smileys-cz-15as the first openly gay Army secretary, or would prefer that wasn’t the case.

“I’ve gotten used to the fact that this is going to be a part of anytime I get a new job or something,” Fanning said. “When it first happened, I was more bothered by it because I didn’t quite have the track record that people know now, and I wanted to focus on qualifications. Now I embrace it. It’s so important to so many people, I realize, and something I didn’t have 25 years.”

Transgender people are currently barred from military service as a result of medical regulation. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has ordered a review of the policy with regard to implementing open service, but it appears to have stalled out at the Pentagon.

rainbowIn an interview with the Washington Blade in 2013, Fanning became the first senior defence official to voice support for openly transgender service. His uniform counterpart, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, is not on record with that view and is quoted in a recent New York Times article as citing “serious significant issues need to be completely vetted and studied.”

Article  by Chris Johnson posted June 3, 2016 for The Washington Blade

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Man imprisoned for being gay to get posthumous pardon from Trudeau

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‘It’s great that the young Trudeau is finishing the work that his father started,’ lawyer says.

images (31)Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to posthumously pardon Everett George Klippert who, because he admitted to police in the 1960s that he was gay, was deemed a dangerous sexual offender and sent to prison.

“The prime minister intends to recommend that a pardon under the authority of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy be granted posthumously to Mr. Klippert,” Trudeau’s office said in a media release.

The move was cheered Sunday by gay-rights advocates.

“It’s fantastic that he’ll get a posthumous pardon,” lawyer Doug Elliott told CBC News.

As well, the statement said the Liberal schalesgovernment will also look to see whether pardons are “warranted” after reviewing the cases of other individuals who in the past were convicted on charges such as gross indecency and buggery.

“As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike, and this includes gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” the weekend statement said.

Trudeau’s office credited Klippert’s case for being “instrumental” in Canada’s decision to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.

images (9)Gay-rights activist applauds government commitment to review other cases of men convicted when homosexuality was a crime, you can also check out the video from CBC News here.

Indefinite prison sentence

6i3zxbkmKlippert was questioned by the RCMP in 1965 during an arson investigation in Pine Point, N.W.T. He wasn’t involved in the fire, but voluntarily said he’d had sexual relations with four men. He was charged with four counts of gross indecency, all for consensual, private, non-violent acts.

In 1966, Klippert was visited in prison by a Crown-appointed psychiatrist who concluded that Klippert’s homosexuality was “incurable,” and that he therefore met the criteria regarding dangerous sexual offenders.

A judge agreed and sentenced Klippert to preventive detention, meaning an indefinite term in prison.

The sentence was backed up by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1967, although Chief Justice John Cartwright suggested the laws regarding homosexuality be clarified, and that incarceration of harmless homosexuals was not their intention.

judge-smiley-emoticon-1The Klippert case stoked considerable media and political interest. Just six weeks later, Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal government’s justice minister (who would later become prime minister) introduced a bill that, among other things, called for the decriminalization of private, consensual homosexual acts between people over the age of 21.

“It’s great that the young Trudeau is finishing the work that his father started,” Elliott said.

Before homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, people were routinely charged with gross indecency — a charge almost always applied to homosexuals — but rarely for private, consensual acts.

Klippert was released from prison on July 21, 1971. He was 69 when he died in in 1996.

images (4)“I never understood: Why didn’t Pierre Trudeau let him out in 1969 when they decriminalized gay sex?” Elliott said. “They kept the poor guy who was responsible for shining a light on this issue in jail for another couple of years.”

Last week, the prime minister confirmed he will march in Toronto’s Pride parade on July 3, a move that would make history with Trudeau being the first sitting PM in Canada to take part in the event.

Article for CBC News  ~ Posted: Feb 28, 2016


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Best. Boot Camp. Ever.

2016 Wake Up Profitable Boot Camp for Business Owners

Farmington Hills, Michigan

Monday-Tuesday, April 25-26,2016

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Booklet, “Born Free and Equal”

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”- Nelson Mandela

booklet f&e2images (4)“Born Free and Equalsets out the source and scope of some of the core legal obligations that States have to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The 60-page booklet is designed as a tool for States, to help them better understand the nature of their obligations and the steps required to meet them, as well as for civil society activists, human rights defenders and others.

You can grab your copy free at this link or select your language:

English | French | Spanish | Russian | Arabic | Chinese (PDF)
Unofficial translations: Farsi | Khmer | Portuguese | Tetum | Turkish | Vietnamese

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2016 Wake Up Profitable Boot Camp for Business Owners

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: I get messages from gay teens considering suicide

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“And so if I could touch just one of those Kids, it’s worth it. And I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without doing it.”

smileys-show-happy-positive-faces_fknqgQvO-298x300pu687tnApple CEO Tim Cook has opened up about his coming out journey, revealing why he chose not to address his sexuality until last year.

Mr Cook, who succeeded Steve Jobs as the head of the Cupertino firmspoke about his sexuality for the first time last year, having previously insisted on maintaining his own privacy.

He has shown his support for LGBT rights on a number of occasions since, however, even marching at Pride events.

press-press-female-lady-smiley-emoticon-000235-largeSpeaking to CBS 60 Minutes this week, the CEO explained why he has described his sexuality as a “gift”.

He said: “When you’re in a minority group it gives you a sense of empathy, of what it’s like to be in the minority.

You begin to look at things from different point of views, and I think it was a gift for me.”

Of why he didn’t come out sooner Cook added: “Honestly, I value my privacy. I’m a very private person.
smiley-face_bullhorn_jpg_w300h210“But it became increasingly clear to me that if I said something that it could help other people.
“And I’m glad, because I think that some kid somewhere, some kid in Alabama, I think if they just for a moment stop Elvis-smileand say ‘if it didn’t limit him, it may not limit me.’
“Or, this kid that’s getting bullied. Or worse, I’ve gotten notes from people contemplating suicide.

Cook is the only openly gay CEO across the top 500 US companies.

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Wrecked Lives, Corporate Losses and Sluggish Growth: the Real Cost of Discrimination

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Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people doesn’t just hurt people; it hurts corporate profits and costs countries tens of billions of dollars in lost economic output. That’s the message of a new United Nations video, “The Price of Exclusion”, narrated by the actor Zachary Quintosc_xN-space1 and launched at UN Headquarters in New York today as part of a global campaign against homophobia and transphobia.

Free-and-EqualIn recent years, the United Nations has documented serious human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people in countries around the world. In a report presented to the Human Rights Council earlier this year, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein pointed to evidence of “pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination affecting LGBT and intersex persons in all regions.”

peace-gayStigma and abuse begin early – often in school wreathplaygrounds. According to studies carried out in the United States, the United Kingdom and Thailand, between half and two thirds of LGBT students are regularly bullied at school and up to a third skip school to escape harassment.

Bullying, isolation and family rejection drive many LGBT youth to abandon their education altogether, with many ending up homeless on the streets. Up to 40 per cent of homeless youth on the streets of major U.S. cities identify as LGBT or queer, compared with likely less than 10 per cent of the overall youth population.

Peace-Hand-Peace-Sign-Pink-Triangle-Gay-Pride-Flag-ColorsIn study after study, rates of poverty, food insecurity and depression have been found to be far higher in the LGBT community than in the public at large.santa A U.S. study found gay and lesbian youth are four times more likely to contemplate or attempt suicide, compared with the general population – trans youth are ten times more likely.

Those most directly affected are of course the victims themselves – the individuals being discriminated against. gayheartBut it’s not only LGBT people who pay the price; we all do. Every trans youth thrown out of home or forced to miss out on an education is a loss for society. Every gay or lesbian worker denied work or driven to emigrate is a lost opportunity to build a more productive economy.

These losses quickly add up. School drop-outs and talent flight shrink the size of a country’s labour market, lowering economic output, putting pressure on corporate profits, and reducing tax flows – leaving less money for schools, healthcare and other essential services.

According to a pilot study conducted for the World Bank last year, discrimination against santaLGBT people in India could be costing that country’s economy up to $32 billion a year in lost economic output. No wonder UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently called ending discrimination against members of the LGBT community “a human rights priority and a development imperative.”

The economic damage caused by discrimination is substantial – and entirely unnecessary. With different laws and policies in place – and, imagesimportantly, a different mind-set – we could and would achieve a different result. The UN is working with governments and, in a new initiative, with companies to bring about change.

In recent years, businesses large and small have taken steps to make the work environment safersanta and more inclusive for their LGBT employees. Many have changed the way they do business with a view to better serving LGBT customers and, in some cases, extracting anti-discrimination commitments from suppliers up and down their supply chains.

waving_crossed_gay_pride_flagsFor the most part, companies are taking action because they believe it’s the right thing to do. But they are also acting in their own interests – and those of their shareholders, customers and the wider community.

clipart-pretty-sexy-lady-smiley-emoticon-371bWatch the UN’s new video to learn more about the business case for inclusion, and visit www.unfe.org for more information on Free & Equal – the UN’s global campaign to end discrimination against LGBT and intersex people everywhere.


Article Posted: Dec 10,2015 ~ Charles Radcliffe Chief, Global Issues, U.N. Human Rights Office, New York


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This Christmas, help us defend freedom

 

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Eliasson accused those who do not embrace the LGBT revolution of “petty bigotry.” “Family comes in all shapes and sizes. Ultimately family is about belonging,”

LifeSiteNews is the #1 free online news source that offers investigative reporting on the issues that matter the most: life, family, faith, and culture.

2796We are the source you can count on to provide you with the facts – the facts you need to stand strong for life and family.

With millions of people visiting our site each month, it would only take a fraction of our readers to donate as little as $25.

Click here to donate today.

On Human Rights Day, homosexual activists converged on UN headquarters to make the case that “LGBT rights are human rights.” But only a few countries within the United Nations agree
On Human Rights Day, homosexual activists converged on UN headquarters to make the case that “LGBT rights are human rights.” But only a few countries within the United Nations agree

Read the complete story…. LGBT activists meet at UN, promise to keep fighting


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Uprising of “RIGHTS”

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On Monday, September 15th, as the world converged upon New York City for the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, Executive Producers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook) presented


Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre (222 West 51st Street).


Featuring performances by 16-time Grammy Award-winner Sting and two-time Tony Award and two-time Grammy Award-winner Patti LuPone, and in strategic partnership with the United Nations Foundation, this event strives to support the efforts of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN’s Free & Equal campaign in calling for equal rights globally for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals, and to raise significant funding for grassroots organizations and activists working toward that goal around the world.


The net proceeds of this event will go directly to Fueling the Frontlines, a three-year, $20 million campaign for global LGBTI rights led by the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Astraea is the only philanthropic organization in the United States solely dedicated to advancing LGBTI rights globally.


In a special video message recorded for the benefit concert “Uprising of Love” held in New York City on 15 September 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks about the global fight for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. In his statement of support, he highlights the role of the UN Free & Equal campaign in opening people’s hearts as part of the UN’s push to change the world. For more information about the concert, please visit the Uprising of Love website: http://www.uprisingoflove.org/benefitconcert/




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Equality Begins With You

2701450Think about your average day. Maybe you hurry to work, attend meetings, rush to meet deadlines. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you have lunch with colleagues, share a joke, and discuss plans for the evening.

Now think about another day, one spent with a feeling of persistent anxiety – when listening to colleagues’ jokes, when asked about your weekend plans. You cannot share the details of your life for fear of the consequences. You cannot share who you are – or whom you love.

I hope you relate to the first scenario. Sadly, for many, the second will be more familiar.

In all parts of the world today, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experience discrimination in every aspect of daily life. As children, too many are bullied by their peers, rejected by their own families, driven to drop out of school. As adults, too many suffer stigma, unfair treatment, even violence. In 76 countries, having a partner of the same sex is even a prosecutable crime. People are arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases executed, just because they are in a loving relationship.

Unfortunately, LGBT people also face deeply-ingrained hostility in the place where many of us spend most of our waking hours – at work.

In most countries, national anti-discrimination laws still do not offer adequate protection on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. This means that employers are free to fire or refuse to hire people just because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
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Even in companies where coworkers accept their LGBT colleagues, discriminatory corporate policies often lead to differential treatment – whether in relation to recognition of same-sex partners, employee benefits or pension entitlements.

As Secretary-General of the UN, I believe in and strive to achieve the world promised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a world rooted in tolerance, freedom and equality; a world where we are ALL free to live a life of dignity. There are no exceptions. Human rights are for everyone, no matter who you are or whom you love.

While all countries need to do more, we have seen some positive developments in recent years. Sixty-twocountries now have laws that protect people against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, although only a handful also cover gender identity.

Yet changes in law alone are not enough; they need to be matched by efforts to change social attitudes.

Businesses have a vital role to play in creating a culture of diversity in which people are treated fairly and with sensitivity, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

I’ve written here about how equality — of women, of persons with disabilities — is good for business, and LGBT equality is no exception. A workplace that promotes an atmosphere of openness, respect and dignity is one that also promotes loyalty, productivity and produces results. It has a positive impact not just on LGBT employees but on all workers, not to mention on clients and consumers.

We are seeing promising signs in the private sector. Several major companies have reformed internal policies and practices to ensure they do not discriminate against LGBT employees and are conducting sensitivity training for managers and other staff. We need all business leaders to set an example by committing themselves and their companies to instill equality as a core value — one reflected in the way they do business and treat their employees.

Equality begins at home and I am all too aware that LGBT colleagues at the UN, and their families, continue to face challenges. I heard many of their concerns first-hand when I met with LGBT staff. I pledged to address their problems. All staff members are part of the UN family and deserve to be treated equally.

We have a long road ahead. It will not be easy. But we must ask ourselves: Do we want to live in a world where love is targeted or where it is celebrated; where people live in fear or in dignity?

Millions of people around the world observe the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May. This year, the UN human rights office has released a short video as part of its Free & Equal campaign called “The Power of Sharing.” The video focuses on the impact that each of us can have by sharing our own stories and by showing our support for our LGBT colleagues, friends and family members. I encourage you all to watch the video and share it to help spread the word.

Changing people’s attitudes takes time, effort and perseverance. It takes us all to speak up and speak out against homophobia, even when it’s presented as harmless fun or as an accepted cultural trait. It’s not. It’s discrimination. And it’s our responsibility to fight it and to strive for a world that is truly free and equal.
http://youtu.be/0O03jJ6JTyU

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UN Free & Equal

unnamedDear friends,

Today is International Human Rights Day and the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are writing to share with you the video Free & Equal, which has been released to mark this important day.

Please watch the video below to learn more about the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights (LGBT) at the United Nations, and share the video with your friends and family.
http://youtu.be/XvpHn_zdkTY
Together, we have reached tens of millions of people around the world with our message of hope for a world that is free and equal. Please continue to share this message by liking Free & Equal on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Thank you for all you do for human rights –

Your friends at Free & Equal

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