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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.

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UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 17, 2011

Contact: Mark Bromley – Council Chair
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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.

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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. 

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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.

 

The State Department’s Annual Human Rights Report

clinton-hrr2011

A Firmly Measured Response to Egregious Abuse

April 14, 2011 – The State Department last week released its annual human rights report.  Once again, the Council for Global Equality applauds the State Department’s effort to “provide an overview of the human rights situation around the world as a means to raise awareness of human rights conditions, in particular as these conditions affect the well-being of women, children, racial and religious minorities, trafficking victims, members of indigenous groups and ethnic communities, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities, refugees, and members of other vulnerable groups.”  And once again this year, the report bears witness to a clear and growing crisis in human rights abuse directed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation signs $350 million development assistance compact with Malawi

us-millenniumchallengecorporation-2008logo.svgIn February the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government-funded development institution, suspended an agreement with Malawi, focused on energy sector development, based in part on concerns over a new law criminalizing consensual relations between women. (See news reports here.) MCC has announced that the Compact will now move forward.

The Council for Global Equality appreciates the attention that the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the U.S. government as a whole have paid to this important human rights concern. We note that MCC has made it clear to the government of Malawi that, "Criminally punishing lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals under laws will prompt MCC to initiate the investigation required for suspension or termination of the Compact". (Read the entire press release here.) We look forward to ongoing dicussions with MCC on this matter. 

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United Nations’ Human Rights Council issues joint statement on LGBT human rights

unhrclogoMarch 22, 2011– Today the United Nations’ Human Rights Council issued a joint statement titled, “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” calling for an end to violence, criminal sanctions, and human rights violations against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The statement, which was signed by a record-breaking 84 countries, is a positive step toward improving the lives of LGBT persons in communities around the world. The number of countries signing onto the statement increased by 30 since 2006 when the issue was first debated.

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United States Accepts UN Recommendations for Improving LGBT Rights at Home

March 10, 2010 – The US State Department released its response to the recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the human rights record of the United States. Of the 228 recommendations made by countries around the world to the United States, three of the recommendations (86, 112, and 116) relate to LGBT rights. The United States officially accepted all three LGBT recommendations today.

The Council for Global Equality and Human Rights Campaign have engaged with the Universal Periodic Review process to ensure inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the review of the United States’ human rights record, and are pleased that the United States today has officially and formally accepted these recommendations. (read the report submitted by Human Rights Campaign and The Council for Global Equality here)

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U.S. Leads Battle to Recognize Gay Rights at UN

U.S. Leads Battle to Recognize Gay Rights at UN: Historic General Assembly Vote Reaffirms Equality for All

December 21, 2010 – In an important victory for LGBT rights on the floor of the UN General Assembly today, 93 countries supported a human rights resolution condemning gay killings around the world, with 55 countries voting against. The vote reverses an earlier effort by conservative countries to strip the reference to sexual orientation.

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U.S. will press for a major UN vote to restore language in a resolution on extrajudicial killings

ambsusanrice-un-hpUN, New York, Dec. 10—In a speech at a UN event to mark International Human Rights Day, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice today announced that the U.S. will press for a major UN vote to restore language in a human rights resolution on extrajudicial killings to emphasize that LGBT people are often the targets of such murders.

The high-level panel marking human rights day focused exclusively on violence, discrimination and related abuse against LGBT communities worldwide.

 

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