Dear reader,


Article 1 of the German constitution reads "Human dignity is inviolable" and forms the basis of all subsequent human rights.  This implies equality, as well as the free development of one's own self that is not affecting the freedom of others. It should be completely irrelevant which attributes are assigned to a human being or how he/she defines him/herself. The focus is on an individual.

Unfortunately, not all people enjoy the same freedom to shape their own lifestyle. Forms of discrimination are diverse and intersect. The number of individuals whose dignity is affected by discrimination reaches breath-taking heights. The world is oriented towards the constructed colonial standard of the white, heterosexual cis man without disabilities. All those who do not fit this ideal enjoy at maximum the same rights on paper, but not in institutions and everyday life.

The basis of any democracy is equality for all. This includes not only the right to vote and equal opportunities for political participation. It also includes the freedom to shape one's own life as one sees fitting. Regardless of gender, skin colour, origin, physiology, faith, sexual orientation, appearance, level of education, etc. This is why to live in a truly democratic world we need to talk about the experiences of discrimination and violated rights of those who do not fit the norms constructed by our society. 

A democracy thrives on diversity, because it is based on the diversity of its citizens. People are different and have different needs that no homogenous group can understand and represent. 

This July, Democracy International joins the Christopher Street Day in support of democratic commitment to equal rights. The demonstration is a way to bring attention to people who experience discrimination because of their gender and/or sexual orientation. 

This worldwide parade to celebrate sexual self-determination is blocked in some countries with ominous justifications. In Turkey, for example, the parade is completely banned "in order to protect the institution of the family". In Tunisia, homosexuality is criminalised under a law dating back to French colonial rule and is punishable by up to three years in prison. In Hungary and Italy, too, the rights of LGBTIQ+ individuals are being restricted, and in Germany the right-wing populist party AfD is mobilising against them. These political movements restrict fundamental rights and promote inequality.

It is because of these developments that Pride is absolutely crucial to create awareness and to show the successes of democratic participation of discriminated individuals. Without the relentless commitment of the LGBTIQ community, there would be no "Marriage for All" possible in Germany since 2017. This does not mean that perfect equality has been achieved, it simply shows the power of democratic change.

Democracy is enabling everyone to express and contribute their perspectives, which means equal participation opportunities for all. This requires visibility, attention, solidarity. The Christopher Street Day is a possibility for this.

All the best,

Antonia Oschmann
Tunisia Democracy Connectors Team




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