WMA Guidelines on LGBTQ Equity in Venues Hosting WMA Meetings and Functions

Adopted by the 220th WMA Council Session, Paris (online), April 2022



It is well known that oppression or repression of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals can have serious implications on health and is in opposition to the humanitarian principles of the medical profession. The WMA Statement on Natural Variations of Human Sexuality condemns all forms of stigmatisation, criminalisation and discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation, and promotes health equity as well as societal acceptance.

In some countries, being openly LGBTQ is a criminal act, treated by incarceration, physical punishment, or execution. In 2019, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights recommended an end to sodomy laws.

The presence of the WMA when it assembles provides an opportunity to interact with political and health leaders of the host country and confers a modicum of honor in being chosen to serve as the host nation. It provides an opportunity to increase understanding in discussions of our policy. In situations where the LGBTQ community is discriminated against or criminalized, our delegates and guests must be protected.

The WMA Declaration of Geneva speaks against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Decriminalization of LGBTQ community is a social change in progress across the globe.



  1. The WMA reaffirms its commitment to non-discrimination.
  2. It is WMA practice to consider the safety of participants in WMA meetings and events, including members of the LGBTQ community.
  3. The requirement of host nations as being safe for WMA participants, including members of the LGBTQ community, must be stated clearly at the outset in the criteria for consideration.
  4. With the support of the Constituent Member candidate to host a WMA meeting, the WMA secretariat shall scrutinize the legislation and practices in the country concerned, with a focus on the situation of the LGBTQ community. The information so collected shall be considered by the Council.
  5. If the enforced laws and regulations in a potential host country are considered contrary to the principles in this policy, the Council shall reject the application to hold the Council meeting in that country or shall recommend to the General Assembly not to hold the General Assembly meeting in that country unless the Council or General Assembly concludes that special circumstances justify an exception to this policy, following WMA Articles and Bylaws. If the application is rejected, the Constituent Member host candidate shall be duly notified of the decision.