Home Newsroom Latest News

News

Honorable Susan E. Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, To Receive Global Equality Leadership Award

October 5, 2012      

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Mark Bromley – Council Chair                                                                                                 

202-719-0511

The Council for Global Equality is proud to announce the selection of Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as the 2012 recipient of its Global Equality Leadership Award. 

Throughout her tenure, Ambassador Rice has spoken eloquently to the principle that, like all minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide are entitled to the same protections, respect and rights accorded to others.  Under her leadership, the United States joined a declaration in the UN General Assembly condemning violence, harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, led in restoring sexual orientation to a keystone UN human rights resolution against extrajudicial executions, and led efforts for the U.S. to seek election to the Human Rights Council, resulting in the first ever UN resolution solely focused on LGBT persons.  By directing the full force of U.S. diplomacy to the issue, Ambassador Rice has helped put LGBT rights on the UN agenda, with an unprecedented new appeal to all countries in all regions of the world.

Ambassador Rice’s leadership was also crucial to the success of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), a Council member, in securing consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. At the United Nations, unfriendly governments long have fought to exclude LGBT organizations and experts from participating in UN human rights meetings.  Indeed, that battle is now a proxy for the larger recognition of LGBT rights at the United Nations.  Without the leadership of Ambassador Rice, IGLHRC and other LGBT organizations might still be excluded from such important debates. 

Ambassador Rice has consistently grounded the U.S. Mission to UN’s representation on these matters in principles embodied in our country’s founding documents, as well as those contained in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Her leadership is in the best traditions of U.S. diplomacy.

The Global Equality Leadership Award will be presented to Ambassador Rice on October 10 in New York at a private reception.  Inquiries about the event may be directed via the contact information provided above.

Find out more about The Council for Global Equality here

 

A Widespread Pattern of Abuses Against LGBT People Worldwide Featured Again in 2011 Human Rights Report to Congress

Washington, DC – May 25, 2012 – The Department of State’s 2011 Human Rights Report, released yesterday, catalogues an ongoing range of abuses and discriminatory treatment directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide – starkly underscoring what Secretary Hillary Clinton has called “…one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time.” 

Speaking in Geneva last December, Secretary Clinton noted that, too often, LGBT people remain an “invisible minority,” members of which “…are arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed…” while “…authorities empowered to protect them look the other way or, too often, even join in the abuse.”

The newly released report bears witness to such abuse.  Most disturbingly, it documents that police, other government security forces, and prison personnel have been implicated directly in the harassment or abuse of LGBT citizens in a range of countries, including (but not limited to) Afghanistan, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, and Panama.  Harassment and abuse often were directed in particular at transgender individuals.  In Turkey, a range of LGBT organizations complained of harassment by police and government authorities.  In Cote d’Ivoire, the report notes that “gay men were reportedly subjected to beatings, imprisonment, verbal abuse, humiliation, and extortion by police, gendarmes, and members of the armed forces.”

Read more »
 

Council Releases NGO Guide to Human Rights

ngoguide-coverThe Council released a new NGO guide, Accessing U.S. Embassies: A Guide for LGBT Human Rights Defenders, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The guide highlights the various diplomatic tools that U.S. embassies use to advance a range of human rights and development objectives, from diplomatic “démarches,” to support for LGBT refugees to the drafting of the annual human rights report that is required of every U.S. embassy.  It also looks at various opportunities that exist for U.S. embassies to support, both technically and financially, LGBT advocates in host countries.

Download English (1.44 MB)

Download Français (1.50 MB)

Download Español (1.60 MB)

Read more »
 

The global impact of Obama's support for gay marriage

cge-reblog-obama-samesexmarriagePhoto: Pete Souza/AFP/Getty ImagesAs an LGBT rights advocate, I have experienced so many proud moments with our president. Our community in the United States can count a number of major achievements during President Obama’s tenure: an inclusive hate crimes law; the repeal of the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and the hugely important decision that the attorney general will longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Read more »
 

Global Press and Organizational Statements on Secretary Clinton Human Rights Speech and the Presidential Memorandum

clinton-un-geneva-hrd-2011Secretary Clinton made a powerful case on December 6, 2011 at the UN in Geneva for why the respect and fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide is of concern to the United States and the world. On the same day President Obama also released a Presidential Memorandum committing the entire U.S. government to support this important human rights agenda. You can watch the speech and see transcripts in English中文FrançaisEspañol, or فارسی http://www.humanrights.gov/2011/12/06/human-rights-geneva/

The following list is a short compendium of the press that the speech and memorandum generated.

U.S. to Aid Gay Rights Abroad, Obama and Clinton Say

 GENEVA — The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that the United States would use all the tools of American diplomacy, including the potent enticement of foreign aid, to promote gay rights around the world.

In a memorandum issued by President Obama in Washington and in a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here, the administration vowed to actively combat efforts by other nations that criminalize homosexual conduct, abuse gay men, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people, or ignore abuse against them. Read more. 

Watch Hillary Clinton's Speech Declaring 'Gay Rights Are Human Rights'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a bold step for U.S. foreign policy (and common decency) by declaring in front of the United Nations yesterday that it is a "violation of human rights" to commit violence or discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation. In a moving speech to the U.N.'s human rights group in Geneva, Clinton tackled many of the common stereotypes leveled at gay people and called on other nations to eliminate laws that criminalize or marginalize homosexuals.

Clinton's Landmark LGBT Speech Shows Importance of Electing Pro-Equality Candidates

Today is truly a momentous day in human rights history. This morning President Barack Obama issued the first-ever executive memorandum dealing with the subject of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights worldwide and directing federal agencies working overseas to "promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons." Later, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a landmark address on LGBT rights in recognition of International Human Rights Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more.

Read more »
 

LGBT Activists from Around the World React to Secretary Clinton’s Speech

LGBT Activists from Around the World React to Secretary Clinton’s SpeechPhoto: U.S. Department of StateFor this historic moment in the LGBT movement, the Council for Global Equality was privileged to bring 14 prominent LGBT activists from around the world to Geneva to be present for Secretary Clinton’s Human Rights Day speech. The Council applauds both Secretary Clinton for the pitch-perfect speech as well as President Obama for yesterday’s vital Presidential Memorandum addressing the human rights of LGBT people worldwide.

Read more »
 

Council Applauds Clinton Speech and White House Announcement in Support of Human Rights for All

clinton-un-geneva-hrd-2011Secretary Clinton made a powerful case today at the UN in Geneva for why the respect and fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide is of concern to the United States and the world. President Obama also released a Presidential Memorandum today commiting the entire U.S. government to support this important human rights agenda. The Council for Global Equality applauds their leadership.

Read more »
 

UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 17, 2011

Contact: Mark Bromley – Council Chair
202-719-0511 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

June 17, 2011—For the First time, the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva has adopted a resolution expressing concern at acts of violence and discrimination committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  The text calls on the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a global study outlining discriminatory laws, practices and acts of violence directed at LGBT individuals, with recommendations on how to put an end to such fundamental human rights abuses.  The study will be reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council next year.  The resolution was tabled by South Africa and it enjoyed strong support from the United States and a broad coalition of voting states from all regions of the world.  It was adopted in Geneva today by a vote of 23 countries in support, 19 against and 3 abstentions.

Read more »
 

UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

un-geneva-flagsiiJune 17, 2011—For the First time, the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva has adopted a resolution expressing concern at acts of violence and discrimination committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  The text calls on the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a global study outlining discriminatory laws, practices and acts of violence directed at LGBT individuals, with recommendations on how to put an end to such fundamental human rights abuses. 

Read more »
 

UN’s Human Rights Council to cast historic vote

United NationsThe UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva is likely to vote Friday, June 17, 2011, on a formal resolution expressing concern at acts of violence and discrimination committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  This could be a truly historic vote.  If it is adopted, this will be the first official UN resolution to focus exclusively on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, and it is the first time that gender identity has ever been included in such a formal UN text.

Watch the live stream of the debate and vote here on Friday, June 17, beginning at 9 a.m. Geneva time (3 a.m. EST).

As currently drafted, the text calls on the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a global study outlining discriminatory laws, practices and acts of violence directed at LGBT individuals, with recommendations on how to put an end to such fundamental human rights abuses.  The study would be reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council next year.  The resolution was tabled by South Africa and it has strong support from the United States and a broad coalition of voting states from all regions of the world.

 
Page 3 of 6