#COSP16 Intervention Statement 3 – Giancarlo De Vera, People with Disability Australia

I am Giancarlo de Vera from People with Disability Australia.

Invoking the sentiments of Mr Hanjabam’s presentation, people with diverse sexualities and gender identities are more likely than the general population to live with a disability.

Given the increased likelihood that more people with disability globally do not identify as heterosexual and/or cisgender, how can State Parties ensure that this under-represented group have their right to home and family protected under Article 23?

Decades of pernicious discrimination and prejudice has denied people with diverse sexualities and gender identities from having families, from being able to marry who they love, and form relationships structures that supports full and independent participation in the community.

Therefore, today as we discuss the topic for the first time, I urge distinguished delegates and civil society to consider approaching this discussion with an intersectional lens.

A lens that promotes every person – regardless of their sexuality and their gender identity – can have a family with a partner they can marry.

We have a right to have a family. Family is the cornerstone of human existence.

Today, technology enables disabled people with diverse sexualities and gender identities to access gender affirming services, to have children and form families.

The international family we form today here at the United Nations, was born out of the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

We must ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services is equal for all.

We must not deny the right to have a family on the basis of sexuality or gender identity.