Posts Tagged 'HRC'

Dignity For All: Reactions from LGBT and Human Rights Organizations

Repost from The Office of Public Engagement

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton articulated the first-ever U.S. Government strategy to direct all federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.

These actions represent a continuation of the Obama Administration’s commitment to safety, justice, and equality for LGBT people everywhere. President Obama expressed this commitment earlier this year at the United Nations General Assembly, when he said “No country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.” And since January 2009, Secretary Clinton has strongly and consistently championed a comprehensive human rights agenda — one that specifically includes the protection of LGBT people. Continue reading ‘Dignity For All: Reactions from LGBT and Human Rights Organizations’

The Council for Global Equality submits shadow report to the U.S. Department of State

This week, the Council for Global Equality, together with Global Rights, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights First, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Immigration Equality submitted a shadow report to the U.S. Department of State on how the United States could do a better job adhering to its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The report covered a variety of issues that impact the LGBT populations in the United States, and suggests recommendations for how the United States can more fully adhere to its promises under that international treaty. This report complements an earlier submission for the Universal Periodic Review – another mechanism that the United Nations utilizes to regularly monitor the human rights records of all its member nations. Read the full report here.

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

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Resolution Opposing Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009

by Ty Cobb of Human Rights Campaign | As posted on HRC’s Back Story Blog

Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a senate resolution (S. Res. 409) by voice vote that calls on members of the Parliament in Uganda to reject the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009.  The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 would make homosexuality in Uganda punishable by life imprisonment or even death.  The bill was introduced in Uganda’s parliament on October 13, 2009, where it remains pending. Read more.

The Council for Global Equality presents a joint statement emphasizing the ongoing need to protect the basic human rights of LGBT Americans

In December, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law held a groundbreaking hearing on U.S. implementation of human rights treaties.  The Council for Global Equality and the Human Rights Campaign presented a joint statement to emphasize the ongoing need to protect the basic human rights of LGBT Americans.  The statement is now available on the website of Chairman Durbin.  Since the United States must present several international reports in 2010 on our country’s compliance with human rights obligations under UN treaties that the Senate has ratified, the hearing frames an important opportunity that exists this year to entrench human rights discussions and set LGBT-focused human rights priorities for the United States.

As noted in our testimony, under the Constitution of the United States, treaty obligations are the “supreme law of the land,” but they have rarely animated our domestic civil rights struggles.  Legal complexities limit the direct domestic application of international human rights treaties in United States courts.  Unfortunately those complexities have also occasionally isolated the United States from the larger international human rights movement.  In simple terms, the lack of domestic treaty enforcement means that the struggle for full legal equality for LGBT Americans has rarely been understood within the context of a larger global effort to secure fundamental human rights for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or geographic location.

Nonetheless, the international movement in support of LGBT rights has been shaped by our own domestic civil rights struggle for LGBT equality here in the United States, just as surely as the international campaign has also shaped our domestic movement.  The two movements are inextricably linked.  That means that as we fight to secure full rights and responsibilities for LGBT Americans, we have an equally important opportunity to contribute to the larger global movement for LGBT equality.  And if we begin to cloak our domestic advances in human rights terms, with reference to our international human rights obligations, we can simultaneously contribute to the international effort to define a fully inclusive understanding of global justice.  We firmly believe that LGBT Americans should pick up the mantle of Eleanor Roosevelt, whose vision gave birth to the modern human rights movement, and proclaim a new era of U.S. leadership to advance human rights for all.

The testimony notes that we look forward to working with this Committee and with the Obama Administration to give full implementation to our human rights obligations, and to ensure that they extend to all LGBT Americans.  Those obligations include swift passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act.  As we make progress, we will also continue to speak out on behalf of LGBT individuals in other countries who are simultaneously struggling to defend their lives and their livelihoods and to protect their families from the abuse and violence that have tormented all of us for far too long.


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