The United Nations’ Free & Equal campaign has unveiled six commemorative postage stamps to promote LGBT equality.
The stamps were produced by the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) for the campaign, which is a project of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Designed by artist and art director Sergio Baradat, the LGBT theme is a first for the UNPA and celebrates the LGBT community’s diversity. The designs were influenced by the French Art Deco movement.
“We live in a world where even though [developed] nations have embraced marriage equality [and] LBGT equality, we still have a far, far, far way to go, but we are making some strides,” Baradat told UN Radio.
“There are some countries in the world right now where not only are we not celebrated or respected, but we are beaten and killed. And I thought that it would be a wonderful opportunity using art, to use postage stamps as a vehicle – using art to change hearts and minds.”
The colourful stamps were launched at the UN General Assembly in New York at a ceremony that featured a performance by the city’s Gay Men’s Chorus.
According to the UN News Service, the set of stamps – two in English, two in French, and two in German – will available at UN Headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna and can also be purchased online.
The stamps are only valid when used for mailing from the three UN headquarters but are sure to be sought after by stamp collectors.
Around seventy six countries around the world currently criminalise homosexuality and it is punishable with the death penalty in eight states.
Launched in Cape Town in 2013, the Free & Equal campaign raises awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and promotes greater respect for the rights of LGBT people.