As the parliamentary elections in Turkey approach, The Istanbul-based LGBTI advocacy group, Social Policies, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Studies Association (SPoD) has called on candidates, political parties, and party leaders to work towards the active inclusion of LGBTIs in decision- and policy-making mechanisms. SPoD has prepared an “LGBTI Rights Pledge,” the full text of which is presented below, and has circulated it to be signed by all parliamentary candidates.
SPoD LGBTI calls on candidates to follow a political approach that guarantees LGBTI rights and freedoms, stating:
Recently, we have witnessed that the politicians have began assuming responsibility to promote LGBTI rights and freedoms. This is mainly due to the efforts by LGBTI rights movements, working for LGBTIs to have equal citizenship status and fighting oppressive and discriminatory policies and practices against LGBTI persons in Turkey. We know that the number of politicians who are defending LGBTI rights is insufficient and that political parties ought to display a much more effective stance for LGBTI rights, especially when we take into account the alarmingly high prevalence of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
As SPoD LGBTI, we have invited parliamentary candidates, political parties, and party leaders to work together on policies to support LGBTI rights, in accordance with our campaign, “LGBTI in the Parliament.” We submit the following “LGBTI Rights Pledge” to be signed by all parliamentary candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Turkey. Through this pledge, we call on all candidates to present a political approach that guarantees LGBTI rights and freedoms. We declare that we will continue to monitor the performance of the candidates who sign the LGBTI Rights Pledge, if elected to the new parliament.
The Pledge that the candidates are asked to sign is as follows:
I, the undersigned, as a candidate for the Parliament, commit, if elected to the Parliament in the 7 June 2015 General Elections, to:
- Display an approach that protects all human rights, including the rights pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity,
- Work in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Parliament) towards gaining recognition for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex rights, as protected by international human rights laws and regulations, and to ensure that Turkey fulfills its responsibilities as a party to any and all international human rights treaties,
- Strive to ensure that the new Constitution drafting process, which is to begin after the elections, is transparent and inclusive,
- Make efforts to amend laws that ignore discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in every aspect of life and to ensure that LGBTIs have access to the justice system,
- Develop egalitarian social policies in order to make sure that LGBTIs are not excluded from or discriminated against in the spheres of education, health, employment, and housing, and that they have equal access to social services in these spheres,
- Make LGBTI rights visible within my political party, in order to ensure equality in political representation and in political participation,
- Take the necessary steps for the inclusion of openly-out LGBTI persons in every political position without them facing any discrimination,
- And cooperate with other parties’ parliamentarians who defend LGBTI rights and join them in leading the efforts towards the establishment of a permanent structure within the Assembly for this purpose.
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LGBTI NEWS TURKEY is the official translation source for SPoD LGBTI’s “In school, at work, in the parliament: LGBTIs are everywhere!” campaign, which is endorsed by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).