Four days prior to the OutGames sports events an international gay human rights conference was held at the Palais des Congres in downtown Montreal, July 26-29, 2006.
1500 delegates from over 100 countries attended making it the largest LGBT rights conference ever held.
Organizers plan to hold similar conferences with future OutGames. More information can be seen at: www.glisa.org

One of the main purposes of the Conference was to raise the profile of gay. lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights at the United Nations and in other international forums and organizations, and to show national governments that LGBT human rights must be taken seriously as an international human rights issue. At the close of the conference the "Declaration of Montreal" was presented demanding action by the United Nations, international organizations and national governments regarding LGBT human rights.



Shown here are random images of some of the hundreds of presenters and speakers at workshops and plenary session during the conference.
Most of the photos are labeled to identify the individuals along with some of their comments.
A few photos are not labeled because this writer can’t recall their names. (If you know them, contact me .)

Li Yin-He, Professor of
Li Yin-He, Professor of Sociology of the Marriage and Family Section, Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She offered an historical view of the treatment of gays in China from the early Maoist years to the present. Her dissertation became a respected book published in China about the inside view of living gay in modern china, based on her research interviews with more than 100 gay people from 1989-1997. The main source of repression is self-imposed 'social control' versus outside police or political force. Since 2000 she said there has been less official oppression against gays and younger gays now are more willing to push for rights: "the young are the hope of China."
Asok Row Kavi of
Asok Row Kavi of India and Georgina Beyer of New Zealand
Ashok Row Kavi, India's
Ashok Row Kavi, India's leading gay activist and spokesman. Founder of Humsafar, India's major LGBT rights organization as well as founder of Bombay Dost, India's first registered gay magazine. His talk focused clearly on the "genocide that HIV is making across India". India has the second highest number of HIV and AIDS cases in the world and countless people don't understand the nature or cause of the disease; they do not know they carry the virus. "Homosexaulity was once romanticized in Indian literature and it has become defiled by today's homophobia. Male-to-male sex is not even called 'sex' but rather 'mischief' so it's not recognized for what it is; it's denial...homosexuality must be decriminalized from the archaic British laws. Until we at least do that, thousands will die of AIDS in pain and ignorance and fear..."
Georgina Beyer, first openly
Georgina Beyer, first openly transsexual in the world elected to national parliament, 1999 in New Zealand. She reviewed the history of the NZ government attitudes toward gays and the struggle by LGBT people to be heard to gain respect and rights. At first she was considered "show pony", an oddity in the parliament and had to prove to other members she was for real and intended to make a difference--to make changes in the laws and attitudes regarding sexual minorities. "Everyone must be allowed to reach their full potential regardless of their sexuality, gender or gender change... it's about people, people, people."
Pakistani Hina Jilani, Special
Pakistani Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders. She was rigorous in her cirticism of Pakistan's poor stand on human rights, "human rights are the bottom line; no one should suffer denial of dignity." There is no respect for gender diversity in Pakistan. "There is silence, fear, hate and hostility with no dialogue about this issue...the government should protect people not ignore or legislate against them...we need to work for strong anti-discrimination laws instead."
Bin Xu, Director of
Bin Xu, Director of 'Common Language' organization in Beijing (left) and Li Yin-He, professor of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Svend Robinson, left, former
Svend Robinson, left, former member of Canadian parliament with GlobalGayz author Richard Ammon
Speaker at the Human Rights Conference Name was forgotten, if you
Speaker at the Human Rights Conference Name was forgotten, if you know, please contact me
Anastasia Crickley of the
Anastasia Crickley of the OSCE (?)
Interested audience
Interested audience
Waheed Alli, businessman and
Waheed Alli, businessman and first (1997) openly gay member of the House of Lords in England. He acknowledged Prime Minister Tony Blair for his firm efforts to gain more gay rights in the UK. Under his government, gays now serve in the military; the discriminatory Paragraph 28 (forbiding mention of homosexuality in public schools) was repealed; civil unions are legal..."there is more to do, of course, such as enforcing anti-discrimination laws and offering equal health to lesbian women and permitting adoptions"
Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director
Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA in Ireland
Maxim Anmeghichean, representative of
Maxim Anmeghichean, representative of ILGA in Europe (Belgium), originally from Moldova.
Vladmir Spidla (Czech Republic),
Vladmir Spidla (Czech Republic), Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportuniies, European Commission, Brussels
Workshop on human rights
Workshop on human rights in former Soviet Republics
Martin cauchon, former Minister
Martin cauchon, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada who pushed for gay marriage legislation. He stated clearly that "separate but equal is no place to be". His strategy was to first get court decisons against marriage discrimination and then push for the legislation to confirm the courts' positions.
Exterior fountain at Palais
Exterior fountain at Palais des Congres
Interior view from the
Interior view from the Palais des Congres
Exterior of the Palais
Exterior of the Palais des Congres
View of Montreal from
View of Montreal from within the Palais des Congres
The Hon. Edwin Cameron,
The Hon. Edwin Cameron, Supreme Court Justice of South Africa, addressing a plenary session of the conference
Opening night dinner and
Opening night dinner and reception
(L-R) Pierre de Vos
(L-R) Pierre de Vos (South Africa), Sunil Pant (Nepal), Hon. Edwin Cameron (South Africa)
Speakers at the Human Rights Conference Names were forgotten, if you
Speakers at the Human Rights Conference Names were forgotten, if you know, please contact me
Co-presidents of the of
Co-presidents of the of the conference, Robert Wintemute (Canadian Professor of Law, King's College, London) and Joke Sweibel (former Netherlands member of European Parliament)
Dorothy Aken'Ova, Director, International
Dorothy Aken'Ova, Director, International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (Nigeria)
Co-chair of ILGA Rosanna
Co-chair of ILGA Rosanna Flamer-Caldera of Sri Lanka and founder of Equal Ground--the only mixed LGBTIQ organization in Sri Lanka
Welcome address by the
Welcome address by the Mayor of Montreal, Gerald Tremblay
Clare L'Heureux-Dube, former Justice
Clare L'Heureux-Dube, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, vehement supporter of the rights of gays to full "participation, social inclusion and respect." See background story about her honor.
The Hon. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human
The Hon. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: "Human rights are everyone's rights--with no exceptions" See background story about Madame Commissioner.
The Hon. Louise Arbour,
The Hon. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights See background story on Commissioner Arbour
The Hon. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human
The Hon. Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights See background story about Commissioner Arbour
The Hon Deborah Batts,
The Hon Deborah Batts, Judge of Federal District Court, Manhattan, USA, first openly lesbian African-American to be nominated to the American federal judiciary
Co-president of the OutGames,
Co-president of the OutGames, Olympian swimmer Mark Tewksbury (Canada) delivering his keynote address that revealed the corruption and hypocrisy of the International Olympic Committee, of which he was a member for a while. He resigned in protest against their "stained sportsmanship attitudes"... "In Montreal now is the time and place to show the world our beauty and our truth through sports... here we are not second class citizens..." His book 'Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock' was published in 2005.
Martina Navratilova, winner of
Martina Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam championships in singles tennis, delivering keynote address expressing the need for LGBT people to create solidarity against discrimination. She encouraged people to be sure to make wills and donate 2% of their estate to gay organizations. She also praised GLISA (Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association) for their work worldwide.
Standing ovation for Martina
Standing ovation for Martina Navratilova, openly lesbian winner of 18 Grand Slam championships in singles tennis. Her newest book 'Fitness Secrets From Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova' was published in 2006.
Kim Gandy, President of
Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization of Women in the USA
Episcopal Bishop of New
Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson "For those of us who believe in the the true meaning of divinity, God sees everyone with one eye, the eye of equality..."
Irshad Manji is the
Irshad Manji is the author of 'The trouble with Islam Today - a Muslim's call for Reform in Her Faith ' (Canada, 2004). She is a Muslim of Ugandan birth who moved with her family to Canada in 1972. Her controversial book is banned in several Mulsim countries so she has made it available on the Internet. In Toronto she produced and hosted the program Queer Television. Currently, in 2006, she is a Visiting Fellow at Yale University.
The Hon. Michael Kirby,
The Hon. Michael Kirby, Supreme Court Justice, Australia "The gay human rights movement is unstoppable. It is an imperfect effort in progress that will change over time by one small step after another. My partner of 37 years, Johan, still does not have inheritance or pension rights with me. Yet the court has managed to redefine some marriage laws to include 'spousal rights' instead of male/female gender-based terminology... Today, Johan is acknowledged by all my peers and goes with me to all formal functions... In my judicial work, I do not uphold the laws for gays and lesbians, I uphold them equally for (or against) all citizens. Judges must be transparent with their personal values and weight decisions based on the law not their personal views... The miracle of this conference in Montreal is to bring progress against darkness, to change the world..."
Workshop on human rights
Workshop on human rights in former Soviet Republics from left: Slava Bortnik of Belarus, Bill Schiller of Sweden (moderator), Andrey Kuvshinov of Krasnovarsk (Siberia), Alexander Kukharskiy of 'Krilija' Center in Russia
Alexander Kukharskiy , president
Alexander Kukharskiy , president of theLGBT "Krilija" Center in Russia "The recent 2006 disturbance in Moscow over gay activity was agitated by the mayor who wants publicity to become the next Russian president. At first, gay pride was quietly organized with approval by local officials as a small entertainment--in a church hall! But drunken bullies broke into the party and created a a rowdy mess that got negative notice. However, that was resolved and there was no big reaction from the public later or in the press. LGBT people have equal protection unde the law. But the Orthodox church (with many gay clergy) and the politicians voiced bad opinions after and the whole thing was exaggerated..."
Slava Bortnik of Belarus "It is
Slava Bortnik of Belarus "It is impossible to have gay pride today in Belarus. We have the last dictatoship in Europe; our president Lukashenko is not part of the free European mind and is repressive. Homosexuality has been illegal since 1994 because Lukashenko sees it as a western disease. He used KGB spies against Czech gay activists and had them expelled..."
Workshop on human rights
Workshop on human rights in former Soviet Republics. From left to right: Slava Bortnik of Belarus, Bill Schiller of Sweden (activist and moderator), Andrey Kuvshinov of Krasnovarsk (Siberia), Alexander Kukharskiy of 'Krilija' Center in Russia (Moscow). Andrey Kuvshinov of Siberia painted a daunting picture of LGBT life in Russia's vast eastern territories, due to the apathy of gays and the weakness of LGBT organizations as well as the general lack of respect for--or knowledge about--human rights in Russia. People still feel the paranoia and uncertainly of the Soviet days so there is little flexibiity or openess to new ideas. Gays are often seen as enemies of the culture and are condemned by the Orthodox church. Gay activists are silenced while anti-gay polemics are allowed to be heard. Among young liberal gays there is now more courage to challenge tradition and organize groups, despite the complex red-tape in staging any event.
Gaston Lacombe of Latvia,
Gaston Lacombe of Latvia, one of the organizers of the summer 2006 Pride Conference in Latvia that was attacked by skinheads and neo-Nazis. More about the dangers and assaults can be read at GlobalGayz Latvia News and Reports page
Kristiina Keerov, Organizer of
Kristiina Keerov, Organizer of the Moonbow International Cultural and Human Rights organization in Estonia. The discussion foused on the weak and vulnerable situation of LGBT organizing in the Baltics where gangs of skinheads and neo-Nazi have attacked gay events.
Volker Beck, member of
Volker Beck, member of the German parliament who was injured in the confrontation during the Moscow Pride event, summer 2006
Alexander Kukharskiy, President of
Alexander Kukharskiy, President of LGBT Krilija Center in Russia discussing HIV infection in Russia and combating homophobia among older citizens conditioned by Soviet anti-gay social thought. Even today, groups like Amnesty International try to operate but are under severe scrutiny from the Russian government; human rights are a volatile and risky issue.
Distinguished panel of international
Distinguished panel of international jurists: five current and past supreme court justices were present along with a US federal judge. Left to right: Edwin Cameron of South Africa; Deborah Batts of USA; Claire L'Heureux-Dube of Canada; Renee Koering-Joulin of France; Eugenio Raul Zaffaroni of Argentina and Micheal Kirby of Australia. Certainly one of the most 'high-powered' workshops of the conference in Montreal. The challenging topic of discussion was the proper role of judges in protecting human rights. For example, are there appropriate cases in which high court judges have a duty to intervene in national legal arguments to enforce human rights standards of international treaties and codes? (apologies for the poor photo quality)
The Hon. Edwin Cameron,
The Hon. Edwin Cameron, Supreme Court Justice in South Africa; an openly gay HIV-positive jurist addressing the need to push for equal rights and equal health care for all citizens.
Alice Knom, lawyer from
Alice Knom, lawyer from Cameroon, Africa, defending nine men imprisoned for being gay. They were acquited but the governemnt refused to release them and clled for a retrial. See Cameroon News and Reports.
Cheikh Doudou Mbaye, LGBT
Cheikh Doudou Mbaye, LGBT Activist in Senegal
Prudence Mabele, Director of
Prudence Mabele, Director of South Africa Positive Women's Network
Workshop on human rights
Workshop on human rights in former Soviet Republics
Keith Goddard of GALZ,
Keith Goddard of GALZ, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe
Kim Vance of Canada,
Kim Vance of Canada, co-director of ARC International. ARC International is a Canadian-based organization that fosters linkages between LGBT organizations to help support human rights work. www.arc-international.net
Sunil Pant, founder of
Sunil Pant, founder of Blue Diamond Society in Kathmandu, Nepal. Under much opposition from politicians and abuse from police the Society has persisted in its pursuit of justice and equality for LGBT people. See Nepal News and Reports on this site.
Left, Ketih Goddard of
Left, Ketih Goddard of GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) and Sunil Pant of BDS (Blue Diamond Society in Nepal); two courageous activists working against strong homophobia in their repressive countries.
Georgina Beyer, left, first
Georgina Beyer, left, first openly transexual woman ever elected to a national Parliament seat, in New Zealand. Right, Svend Robinson, first openly gay member of the Canadian national parliament.
Thuli Madi, Director of
Thuli Madi, Director of Africa's major LGBT website Behind the Mask
Speakers at the Human Rights Conference Names were forgotten, if you
Speakers at the Human Rights Conference Names were forgotten, if you know, please contact me
Speaker at the Human Rights Conference Name was forgotten, if you
Speaker at the Human Rights Conference Name was forgotten, if you know, please contact me
Workshop on the Religious
Workshop on the Religious Right and how it affects national and international policies on LGBT rights. From left, Sean Cahill of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute (USA); Scott Long of Human Rights Watch LGBT office; Robert Biedron of Poland's Campaign Against Homophobia; Adnan ? from Canada; Cary Alan Johnson from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (Africa specialist USA).
Scott Long of Human
Scott Long of Human Rights Watch
Cary Alan Johnson of
Cary Alan Johnson of International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (Africa Specialist--USA) He spoke about the ineffectiveness of 'faith-based' HIV prevention programs that stress abstinence with less emphasis on condoms; as a result there is less training in HIV transmission programs and a subsequent rise in infections rates in Africa.
Robert Biedron, chairman of
Robert Biedron, chairman of Campaign Against Homophobia in Poland. He talked about the challenges he faces against the strong Catholic church in Poland and the rise of fundamentalism and political conservatism now sweeping Poland since the presidential elections of 2005. President Kaczynski is openly anti-gay.
Workshop on the Queer
Workshop on the Queer Movement in India. Panelists include Pramada Menon, Shruti Chakravarty, Ashok Row Kavi and Sumit Baudh
Workshop on the Queer
Workshop on the Queer Movement in India. Panelists include Pramada Menon, Shruti Chakravarty, Ashok Row Kavi and Sumit Baudh
Workshop on the Queer
Workshop on the Queer Movement in India. Panelists include Pramada Menon, Shruti Chakravarty, Ashok Row Kavi and Sumit Baudh
Bin Xi, director of
Bin Xi, director of 'Common Language' a Beijing-based support group for lesbian/bisexual women.
Kursad Kahramanoglu, former co-chair
Kursad Kahramanoglu, former co-chair ILGA, Turkey
Chung To of the Chi Heng Foundation, China
Chung To of the Chi Heng Foundation, China
Speaker at the Human Rights Conference Name was forgotten, if you
Speaker at the Human Rights Conference Name was forgotten, if you know, please contact me
Thuli Madi, Director of
Thuli Madi, Director of Africa's major LGBT website Behind theMask with GlobalGayz author Richard Ammon
Left, Doug Sanders, professor
Left, Doug Sanders, professor and lawyer in Bangkok with Chung To of the Chi Heng Foundation, China
Georgina Beyer of New
Georgina Beyer of New Zealand and Hina Jilani of Pakistan
Workshop on human rights
Workshop on human rights in former Soviet Republics