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The pandemic has drastically reduced safe spaces for the LGTBI community, which has been the least vaccinated.
On the eve of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, the European Union (EU) on Sunday called on the international community to eliminate the criminalization of same-sex relationships.
"It is not conceivable that still 69 countries criminalize same-sex relationships and in 11 of those nations being homosexual is punishable by death. We will continue to be at the forefront in ensuring that the LGTBI people's rights are respected," the EU stated.
The EU also called for an end to impunity for the attacks the group has suffered during the pandemic, such as gender-based violence and hate speech.
Lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and intersex people have been the most discriminated against, the least vaccinated, and have had the least access to health services amid this global emergency.
"Guaranteeing the right of all people to be free and love who they choose requires joint efforts from everyone, every day," the EU added.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) warned that the pandemic has drastically reduced safe spaces for the LGTBI community.
In the past year, Indonesia tried to push through the "conversion therapies" policy, which aims to change gay people's sexual orientation with invasive methods. Russia amended the Constitution to regulate that marriage is "the union of a man and a woman."
In November, Hungary submitted a draft amendment that would have the legal effect of prohibiting adoption by same-sex couples, if passed.