As lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) communities campaign for constitutional rights across the world, USIP gathered the United States’ new special envoy on the issue, along with international LGBTI activists, to discuss the movement and its future. Ambassador Randy Berry joined campaigners from South Africa, Ireland, Fiji, and Grenada in the May 26th forum, which was co-hosted by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

LGBTI
Pictured from left to right, Jason Gluck, Michael Dafel, Moninne Griffith, Michelle Reddy, Richie Maitland

While only a few countries now protect LGBTI rights in their constitutions, the inclusion of those protections increasingly has become an indicator of the strength and consolidation of democracy.  And constitution-building processes in various countries have opened a social and political space of tolerance and equality within which gender minorities are continuing to claim their rights.

In this forum, our panel of activists shared their experiences—strategies, challenges, successes, and failures—that may provide insights and lessons on ways for LGBTI communities to achieve constitutional recognition and rights that until recently seemed improbable..

Join the conversation on Twitter with #LGBTDiplomacy.

Agenda

Welcoming Remarks: Nancy Lindborg, President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Key Note Address: Randy Berry, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LBGT Persons, U.S. Department of State

Panelists

  • Sumit Bisarya
    Constitution Building Programme
    International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance
  • Michael Dafel
    Doctoral Candidate, University of Cambridge
  • Eric Gitari
    Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya
  • Monine Griffith
    Director, Marriage Equality, Ireland
  • Richie Maitland
    Co-founding Director, Groundation Grenada
  • Michelle Reddy
    Programme Director, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement
  • Jason Gluck, Moderator
    Senior Program Officer, Rule of Law, U.S. Institute of Peace

logos

Related Publications

What’s Next for Kenya After William Ruto’s Presidential Victory?

What’s Next for Kenya After William Ruto’s Presidential Victory?

Thursday, September 15, 2022

By: Chris Kwaja

William Ruto’s emergence as Kenya’s fifth president represents a paradigm shift in the country’s politics. Ruto’s campaign was comprised of a mass movement of workers, the jobless, peasants and other “hustlers” and sought to distance itself from the dynasties that have long run Kenya’s politics. While Ruto was born in a small rural village in the Rift Valley, his opponent, Raila Odinga, is a former prime minister and the son of the country’s first vice president. Marginalized Kenyans see Ruto as the personification of a transformational agenda that centers their plight, defining a contest between hustlers and dynasties. While Kenya faces a dire economic situation, Ruto’s biggest challenge may be overcoming the country’s legacy of ethnic politics and building national cohesion.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Kenya: As Drought Deepens Land Conflicts, Peacebuilders Respond

Kenya: As Drought Deepens Land Conflicts, Peacebuilders Respond

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

By: Jeremy Moore

Amid lengthening droughts in a changing climate, millions of herders in northern Kenya are watching their traditional grazing lands dry and harden. As in pastoralist regions from Mongolia to the Sahel, Kenyan herders are now guiding their cattle, camels, sheep or goats longer distances in search of pasturage. The competition for scarcer grassland and water has triggered conflicts and bloodshed among herding communities. But at the grass roots of northern Kenyan society, activists are combining local knowledge and peacebuilding skills to create new ways for rival groups to cooperatively adapt to the changes from a degrading climate.

Type: Blog

Environment

Three Early Lessons from Kenya’s Elections

Three Early Lessons from Kenya’s Elections

Thursday, August 18, 2022

By: Aly Verjee

On August 15, William Ruto was declared president-elect of Kenya, following a vote last week. His chief competitor, Raila Odinga, rejected the results and says he will go to court to seek their invalidation. So far, little evidence of electoral misconduct has been presented, with most observers suggesting the conduct of the polls improved compared to the last vote in 2017. As the country waits for the judicial process to unfold, here are three takeaways from this year’s Kenyan experience.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

A Kenyan Peacebuilder Explains What’s at Stake in Her Country’s Elections

A Kenyan Peacebuilder Explains What’s at Stake in Her Country’s Elections

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: Nicoletta Barbera;  Amriya Issa

Kenyans head to the polls on August 9 to vote for president, members of the National Assembly and Senate, and County Leadership for the country’s 47 counties. Elections are an important moment for any country, but the stakes are particularly high ahead for Kenya of Tuesday’s polls. Election violence has been a major issue in previous elections, and there are fears that this vote could spur conflict. Kenya’s next government will face significant challenges. Like many countries in the region, Kenya is suffering from a severe drought, rising debt and inflation, with food prices soaring by 15 percent in the last year. With the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya’s stability is critical for the wider region.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGender

View All Publications