New tool tracks discrimination against LGBTQ community around the world

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new tool focused on protecting the rights of members of the LGBTQ community has been launched.

The activity tracker was developed in Albany, and it monitors data globally.

As members of the LGBTQ community gain a bigger voice, a local professor is trying to help by showing people trends, numbers, and what can make things better.

“There really isn’t data out there on what’s happening on a regular basis worldwide,” University at Albany Professor Victor Asal said.

Until now.

“You can look at this website, and say, ‘Ok, what’s going on in the world? Where is bad stuff? Where are people mobilizing?’” Asal said.

Long before Asal started teaching about political violence and discrimination at UAlbany, he said he used to get teased a lot.

“One was a word that was very derogatory toward LGBTQ community,” he said.

So he decided to do something about it.

“That started to make me think about rights, and people should be allowed to be who they are as long as they are not hurting anyone,” he said.

Asal developed a 21st Century tool for an age old problem: discrimination based on sexual orientation. UAlbany partnered with local company Nowigence that developed the software.

“We wanted to do something that was socially meaningful,” Michael McCreary with Nowigence said.

It gathers data globally over time and ranks countries based on nationwide policies against the LGBTQ community and the number of protests taking place against those policies.

“Negative policy can have a mobilizing impact in terms of generating more positive events,” Asal said.

New York State has a 4.09 ranking.

“Helps them understand where the big problems are,” Asal said.

Asal hopes the program serves as a long term resource.

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