With the huge and welcome advances that we have made in Britain and many countries in recent years it is easy to forget that most of the world remains a very hostile place if you happen to be gay or lesbian. State sanctioned homophobia remains widespread, in more than a third of all countries homosexuality is still illegal and in some punishable by death.
But the world is changing fast. The Arab Spring has shown how the power of modern communications can spread ideas of freedom and respect for basic universal human rights fast. Where groups of people have come together with strength and courage they have achieved dramatic change.
The common cry under these autocratic regimes has been for human dignity. That is also the silent cry of millions of gay men and lesbians around the world whom Kaleidoscope has been launched to help.
The Kaleidoscope International Diversity Trust (to give it its full name) is a new movement to support diversity and protect the human rights of gay men and lesbians around the world. Freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is a fundamental human right. It should be upheld by everyone and every state. It's also in countries' self interest.
The evidence shows that nations that value diversity and protect individual freedoms are not only fairer and more just, but also stronger and more prosperous. The Trust also recognises the impact that legalised discrimination has in the battle of HIV/AIDS and the threat to public health caused when members of sexual minorities are discouraged from coming forward.
Kaleidoscope aims to make an impact at all levels of the debate. Lobbying governments and international institutions will only be effective if the ordinary men and women who are standing up against discrimination and injustice in their own countries have the support they need. Helping build the capacity of individuals and groups within countries can have far more effect that lecturing from outside.
These groups are better placed to achieve progress working within the context of their own country's cultural values. Inclusive and just societies cannot be achieved overnight. Countries making progress should be applauded and encouraged. Ones that are standing still or going backwards can expect criticism.
This generation of gay men and lesbians in Britain and some other countries is the luckiest alive. We enjoy freedoms and equality under the law that were unimaginable just a generation ago.
But for many of our brothers and sisters around the world these things are still unimaginable. We owe them our solidarity and our support. That's why the work of Kaleidoscope will be so important and why it has my - and I hope will have your - full support.