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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Struggle for LGBT Rights in Myanmar

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By Steven Wozencraft and Chris Westling

Aung Myo Min peered over his soda with a wide smile on his face. As the Executive Director of Equality Myanmar, he recounted spending most of the past quarter century as a political exile in Thailand. Excited to be back, he hurriedly told us about the many issues facing Myanmar’s LGBT community and how they intersected with the human rights concerns of women, ethnic minorities and religious minorities in the rapidly changing Southeast Asian country.

Known to many as Burma, Myanmar has been ruled by a military junta for the better part of five decades. But since 2010, the government has slowly announced reform after reform bringing the country closer and closer to democracy.

Our team flew into Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, last month with a delegation of social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and philanthropists. We had come with the Aspen Institute, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, and the US Department of State.

As we drove thro…