2015 was a regressive year for LGBT people’s rights in Armenia, since the newly accepted Constitution restricted marriage as a union only between a man and a woman. The issue of same-sex marriage was brought up in a broad manner during debates about the new Constitution, when homophobic political blocs accused authorities of paving the way for same-sex marriages with the new Constitution, which resulted in the redefining of the article on marriage so that homosexual people would not have the possibility to marry.
When the “Rainbow” forum took place for the first time in Armenia, and a photograph featuring some of the participants was published, a new wave of hatred arose against LGBT people and their allies. Hatred against LGBT people increased so much that the US Embassy, the office of the United Nations in Armenia, and Frontline Defenders all expressed their concerns in public statements.
2015 saw no changes in the state’s or wider society’s attitude toward LGBT people. The dissemination of derogatory and malicious information about LGBT people, discrimination, violence and calls for violence, and the spreading of hate speech through the media and online networks all had a continuous nature in 2015.
2015 was also marked by the first-ever outing of an anti-LGBT political figure in Armenia, after it was publicly revealed that a well-known homophobic figure is in fact homosexual.
LGBT people continued to rely on the assistance of non-governmental organizations in 2015, rather than filing their complaints to government bodies. In 2015, only two people applied to the Republic of Armenia’s Human Rights Defender’s Office for violations of LGBT people’s rights.
This report summarizes Public Information Need of Knowledge NGO’s (PINK Armenia) recorded and documented incidents of 2015, transcripts of interviews conducted with LGBT people, judicial proceedings, and publications from online and mass media.
Forty-six people applied to PINK Armenia in 2015 with issues involving rights violations. The reported incidents were connected to the applicant’s real or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The report shows what violations the state has perpetrated in its interactions with LGBT people, the nature of rights violations that have been recorded in interactions with third parties, and the situation created as a result of the state’s failure to create equal opportunities and a safe environment for all.
The violation of LGBT people’s rights is presented in the report in the following structure.
- The main provisions of national and international legislation related to human rights protection that have been violated or restricted in the recorded incidents.
- General descriptions of specific incidents of recorded rights violations.
At the end of the report is Public Information Need of Knowledge NGO’s recommendations for governmental bodies, the media, international and regional organizations, the realizations of which will make possible the creation of a safe environment for LGBT people in society, where they can exist as full members of society, and have the possibility to realize their rights and freedoms in a productive way.
Download the report here.