Posts Tagged 'Hate Crimes'

Honduras is test of new U.S. policy on gay rights

Honduras LGBT RIghts

Photo: Johny Magallanes / MCT

Repost from the Miami Herald

by Tim Johnson

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — From U.N. chambers to the halls of the State Department, global pressure on countries to protect the rights of gay and transgender people is rising.

For Josue Hernandez, the new emphasis can’t come fast enough.

The 33-year-old gay activist bears the scar of the bullet that grazed his skull in an attack a few years ago. He’s moved the office of his advocacy group four times. Still, he feels hunted in what is arguably the most homophobic nation in the Americas.

“We are in a deplorable state,” Hernandez said of gays in Honduras. “When we walk the streets, people shout insults at us and throw rocks. Parents move their children away.”

Three months ago, a U.N. report declared that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — or LGBT — violates core international human rights law. It listed nations where violations are most severe.

Joining a push that originated in Europe, the Obama administration said in December that respect for LGBT rights is now a factor in its foreign policy decisions.

Remembering LGBT Hate Crimes in October

Hate Crime October 7, 2011 – Thirteen years ago this week, Matthew Shepard was attacked and left to die on a deserted road in Laramie, Wyoming. The month of October, in addition to being LGBT history month, is also an appropriate month to remember the tragic legacy of LGBT hate violence. Matthew Shepard was killed in October. Eleven years later, in October 2009, President Obama signed a law named after Matthew Shepard that extends federal authority over LGBT hate crimes. And every October, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also meets in Warsaw, Poland to discuss a range of human rights issues in Europe and North America, including persistent patterns of hate violence targeting LGBT individuals.

The OSCE is an obscure but influential international organization that focuses on a range of security and human rights issues. Created as a mechanism to engage the Soviet Union and its satellite states, in the messy aftermath of the Cold War, the OSCE has emerged as an important platform for promoting tolerance and non-discrimination. Every October the OSCE holds a human rights conference in Warsaw, and for several years now, the issue of LGBT rights has been an important topic. During the Bush administration, the United States worked with the Vatican to block discussion of LGBT human rights concerns. In the Obama administration, the United States is now one of the leading voices insisting that the OSCE must respond to LGBT concerns in Europe and North America. Indeed, the head of the official U.S. delegation to the meeting, Ambassador David Johnson, addressed a reception on Wednesday that was dedicated to the many LGBT activists who traveled to Warsaw to expose the violence that continues to shatter lives and destabilize communities. Continue reading ‘Remembering LGBT Hate Crimes in October’

Human Rights Reports 2011, Congressional Briefing

(L) Amb. Michael Guest (ret.), Senior Advisor, The Council for Global Equality (R) Dr. Daniel Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. State Department

The Council for Global Equality on Friday participated in a Congressional briefing hosted by the LGBT Equality Caucus to mark the release of the U.S. State Department’s annual Human Rights Report. The briefing was moderated by the Council’s Senior Advisor, Amb. Michael Guest (ret.), with Dr. Daniel Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, highlighting trends in the LGBT human rights records of the 194 countries reviewed in this year’s report.  Members of the international human rights advocacy community and Congressional staff attended the briefing.

Read a compendium of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) references in the report.

Click here to view video (also in Spanish) from the U.S. State Department marking the release of the reports.
Click here to read a story by the Washington Blade on the release of the reports.

The Global Gay Rights Battlefields

In an article by Max Strasser in the December 20, 2010 issue of Foreign Policy Magazine the author highlights the LGBT rights battles taking shape in countries has diverse as Nigeria, Malaysia and Lithuania.

Read the full article here.

Ambassador Michael Guest Interview at the 2010 OSCE Review Conference Warsaw, Poland (video)

From the U.S. Mission to the OSCE
As the OSCE Review Conference drew to a close, Head of the U.S. Delegation,  Ambassador Michael Guest, talks about the role of the OSCE, the value of such conferences, and the importance of Non-Governmental Organization access.

The Council for Global Equality and HRC submit report to United Nations Human Rights Council as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

As posted on HRC Action. April 23, 2010

Earlier this week, HRC, as a member of the Council for Global Equality, submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council [PDF] as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The purpose of the submission was to highlight ways in which the United States can improve human rights domestically. Our submission focused on deterring LGBT hate crimes, prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBT people — including the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law — and increasing the ability of LGBT individuals to form secure and stable families. Read more


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