LGBTIs have started a campaign called “In school, at work, in the parliament” leading up to the general elections. The details of the campaign designed for the active participation of LGBTIs in decision- and policy-making processes were shared at a press meeting on Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD LGBTI) believes LGBTIs will attain equal access to education, employment, housing, and health services when they are active politically. Therefore, SPoD LGBTI has started a campaign called “In school, at work, in the parliament: LGBTIs are everywhere!“ for the upcoming general elections. The details of the campaign designed for the active participation of LGBTIs in decision- and policy-making processes were shared at a press meeting on Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
You don’t have rights if you are not present!
SPoD LGBTI Board Member Sedef Çakmak said they started this campaign to make the human rights violations LGBTIs face more visible and to realize the dream of a Turkey where no one faces pressure for their identities. Çakmak stated that they started off with the thought “you don’t have rights if you are not present!” Çakmak emphasized that LGBTIs will be able to talk more easily about their economic, social, and legal problems in an environment that is cleared of prejudices. Çakmak said, “In Turkey, individuals’ political participation is confined to “voting”. But political participation is all efforts to directly affect the decisions of decision-makers. SPoD LGBTI consciously uses all the tools of political participation such as election monitoring, face to face meetings with decision-makers, and political campaigns to emphasize LGBTI problems. But there is one method that is the most effective and that is the thought that “you don’t have rights if you are not present.” The existence of individuals who join politics without hiding their LGBTI identities leads to a faster decrease in prejudices against LGBTIs. As we have seen in the minutes of the New Constitution drafting process, lawmakers are not purified of prejudices against LGBTIs that exist in society and steps are not being taken to protect the human rights of LGBTIs who face violence, pressure, and exclusion because of these biases. We must actively participate in politics with our LGBTI identities in order to show decision-makers that being LGBTI is not something that needs to be hidden, shunned, treated or eliminated, to pass laws for LGBTIs, and to repair the negative associations in society. Only in this way can we ensure a truly participatory democracy in society, in the parliament, and in political parties.”