LGBT Issues in Armenia

YEREVAN, Armenia – On September 20, the Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program of the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted Mr. Mamikon Hovsepyan, Executive Director of PINK Armenia, who delivered a seminar examining the politics of LGBT issues in Armenia. Mr. Hovsepyan discussed LGBT rights, the extent to which those rights are respected and upheld in Armenia, and the essential role of the Armenian government in protecting the LGBT community. According to Mr. Hovsepyan, the absence of legislative arrangements to ensure the proper realization of LGBT persons’ rights allows homophobic people to carry out attacks against the LGBT community. Moreover, the opinions of the law enforcement agencies are a hindrance to the disclosure of offenses committed against LGBT people. As a result, bringing perpetrators to justice is generally unsuccessful within the frame­work of existing legislation. Mr. Hovsepyan discussed the role of organizations such as PINK Armenia in bringing about greater recognition of LGBT issues within Armenian society and fighting for the protection of rights for LGBT people.

Mr. Hovsepyan is an LGBT activist and a Human Rights Defender in Armenia. In 2007 he founded PINK Armenia, the leading LGBT organization in the country. PINK Armenia works on LGBT community empowerment, human rights protections on national and international levels and awareness raising. Mr. Hovsepyan holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and a master’s degree in human rights and democratization. He specializes in health, human rights and gender issues. Mr. Hovsepyan is a board member of the Los Angeles-based Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society and Human Rights House Yerevan. In 2017 he received a Bob Hepple Equality Award for his work in advancing LGBT rights in Armenia.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.