New Democracy Maps

International LGBT Advocacy Organizations and Programs

The Bottom Line

International lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations and programs are rapidly expanding in quantity, reach and influence. This analysis, based on interviews and/or data from 25 organizations and programs, provides a review of their priorities, strategies and tactics; an overview of their capacities and budgets; a snapshot of their challenges and opponents; and a look at needs that funders can help address. The report also features 20 detailed international organization/program profiles.

  • International LGBT Advocacy Organizations and Programs Download


Efforts to advance LGBT equality around the globe have expanded rapidly in recent years. International LGBT Advocacy Organizations and Programs provides LGBT movement organizations, allies, partners, and funders in the United States with an overview of international LGBT advocacy work, including information on the capacity, programs, strategies, tactics, and challenges of some of the leading organizations and programs in this sector.

The report analyzes survey and interview data on the following 25 organizations and programs: Amnesty International (International Secretariat), Anonymous, ARC International, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition/C-FLAG, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Equal Rights Trust, Front Line, Gender DynamiX, Global Rights, Heartland Alliance, Human Rights Watch, The Inner Circle, INTERIGHTS, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), ILGA-Europe, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Press for Change, Sexual Rights Initiative, Sexuality Policy Watch, United and Strong, United Belize Advocacy Movement, and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).

The report is divided into two sections. The first section, “Field Overview,” looks at how and where global LGBT work takes place; describes the basic staff, budget, and board capacity of the organizations and programs studied; looks at their missions and general program goals and strategies; reviews the obstacles and challenges organizations face in executing their LGBT programs; considers the capacity and technical assistance needs of the global LGBT community; and concludes with suggestions for approaching this type of research in the future.

The second section provides profiles of 21 of the groups that responded to the survey, including contact information, budget and staff sizes, lists of priority advocacy targets and strategies, top LGBT and ally partners, and their most important capacity and research needs.


  • Movement Advancement Project

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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