LGBT Victories: Postcard from Jessica Stern

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Resilience, the foundation of progress, fueled recent successes for our community worldwide.

Argentina, with a new gender identity law, set an unprecedented benchmark in May for protecting and recognizing the rights of transgender individuals. We owe this triumph to the collaborative efforts of scores of courageous transgénero and travesti Argentinians and activists. For more information, read the New York Times article "Transgender Advocates Hail Law Easing Rules in Argentina."

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in March overturned a Chilean Supreme Court decision that removed Karen Atala’s children from her custody because she was a lesbian. The ruling sets precedent throughout the Americas. Recently, I spoke about the potential impact of this landmark decision at an event at CUNY Law School. (Join us to honor Karen Atala at our annual human rights award ceremony, A Celebration of Courage.

And, in May in Malawi, President Joyce Banda announced her intention to decriminalize homosexuality. Human rights defenders from Blantyre and Lilongwe who recently presented a shadow report to the UN Human Rights Committee propelled this leap forward.

What victories have you been a part of? Write to me at and let me know!

With warmth and solidarity,

P.S. See IGLHRC on Al Jazeera and other media highlights here.