International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

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The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is an international organization bringing together more than 750 LGBT and intersex groups from around the world. It was founded in 1978, at the very end of the gay liberation period. Although North and South American as well as Australian and New Zealand organisations were early members, ILGA long remained a mostly European organisation. It was also a predominantly male group, with no women attending the first meeting in Coventry. Although a women’s caucus was set up in 1979, IGA only changed its name to ILGA to give lesbians more visibility in 1986.

Since its inception, the organization has articulated a clear reformist agenda, trying to enter into dialogue with political institutions to gain rights and seeking incremental change instead of revolution. Its discourse has been moderate, and references to human rights manifold.

ILGA's discourse on pedophilia was long influenced by a liberationist rhetoric, which was aimed at the overthrow of sexual repression and located the end of gay oppression within a broader liberation of sexuality. Therefore, the organization insisted on the need for solidarity with other sexual minorities, including pedophiles and young people. The long dominant liberationist approach gradually shifted towards the adoption of an official policy against pedophilia in 1993.