Religious Freedom and SOGI Rights: Reflections on the UN Independent Expert Report

In June 2023, the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity published the report “Freedom of religion or belief, and freedom from violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The report covers various aspects of a theme that provokes seemingly endless and often bitter debates among human rights academics and practitioners and that draws lines of political polarization in societies across the globe.

Meeting of FoRB and SOGI experts organized by the UN Independent Expert on SOGI, March 2023

The Independent Expert’s report introduces some theoretical novelties to international law discourse (such as a homocolonialism argument against the enactment of anti-LGBT+ legislation), proposes or reinforces several practical approaches to dealing with problematic issues like anti-LGBT+ hate speech and state-sanctioned violence and discrimination against LGBT+ people, and provides recommendations regarding human rights advocacy in the domain of religious freedom and LGBT+ rights.

This series contributes to a wider discussion of the report. The series authors—scholars and practitioners with expertise in religious freedom and gender issues—touch on both the conceptual premises of the report and the workability of solutions offered by the UN Independent Expert.

Posts in the Series:

Marie Juul Petersen and Dmytro Vovk. A Promise of Human Freedom: Synergies Between the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief and LGBTQI+ Rights

Thiago Alves Pinto. Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Rights of LGBT+ Persons in Accordance with the Gospel of the UN Independent Expert on SOGI Rights

Montserrat Gas Aixendi. Freedom of Religious Expression, Hate Speech, and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Christine Venter. Human Rights for Everyone, Everywhere: The Report of the Independent Expert on Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexuality and Gender

Dmytro Vovk. Is Homocolonialism a Sound Argument to Advance Human Rights for LGBTQ+ People?