Voices for Equality: Nvard Margaryan, Armenia
By Charlotte Parker Gliserman
In early July, the Armenian Ministry of Justice announced that it would recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad, making Armenia the second formerly-Soviet state to do so. While commendable, this step does not outshine Armenia's troubling human rights record.
LGBT people in Armenia face discrimination in various arenas, including state institutions. Armenian police officers’ harassment of LGBT people and disregard for hate crimes committed against them chill the LGBT community's interactions with law enforcement. Likewise, Armenian parliament members' homophobic statements and support for Russian-style propaganda laws signal that anti-LGBT attitudes are the law of the land—and their impact is clear.
A recent report from PINK Armenia found that 90 percent of Armenian citizens support restricting the rights of LGBT people. This public hostility against LGBT people makes LGBT advocacy in Armenia both incredibly difficult and essential.
We are thankful for activists like PINK Armenia's Nvard Margaryan who fight for the rights of LGBT people, and look forward to working with them in the future.