At the Intersection of MLK Day and Davos: Will Companies Pick up Where Governments Left off on Human Rights for LGBT People?

The question is therefore whether companies will pick up where Governments left off to ensure that Human Rights for LGBT people are obtained now rather than too late.


There is an unprecedented urgency to fight for Human Rights of LGBT people globally. For the first time in history, a majority of people who experience same-sex attraction or non-conforming gender identity everywhere are aware that in selected places in the world they can live with dignity, equal rights and opportunities. They are comparing their lives in which they face constant prejudice, violence and discrimination to that of their peers in areas where legal protections and greater tolerance have been secured. In doing so, they often feel true despair.

Global media networks, the internet and the news coverage of LGBT people are the principal causes for this growing awareness by LGBT people. But this urgency has also been exacerbated by the astonishing legal achievements of a brief decade on Human Rights for LGBT people and the subsequent backlash in other parts of the world.

The resulting social tensions are staggering and yet difficult to measure. In 2014, I wrote a piece on the increasing trend in LGBT migration which constitutes the canary in the coal mine of this phenomenon (see Pink Migration – rising tide of LGBT migrants?). Imagine being a middle-class homosexual man living in Sousse, Tunisia with no money or opportunity to move abroad; fully aware that you will never be able to reach your potential and contribute fully to society. Now imagine being a young lesbian in rural India in this global age not even able to ever experience intimacy with someone of the same-sex but conscious that lesbians do exist everywhere.

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