image from advocate.com
The August edition of The Advocate, which hit newsstands yesterday, has an article by James Kirchick that criticizes the Council for submitting information to the United Nations for an upcoming human rights review. The Council’s submission to the UN (and also to the State Department) suggests that the United States is failing its own LGBT citizens under a variety of human rights standards.
Read James Kirchick’s advocate article here.
by Julie Dorf and Mark Bromley on behalf of the Council for Global Equality | advocate.com
“While we take issue with many of the points leveled against us in James Kirchick’s Advocate commentary “Diplomatic Disconnect,”we agree with his larger perspective. We share his belief that LGBT Americans can and should be engaged in making the world a better place for LGBT citizens in countries less democratic than our own, even while we simultaneously struggle to extend equality for all LGBT citizens at home.
But to have impact on the world stage, we firmly believe that the domestic and the international are interconnected and that we cannot advance one struggle without advancing both. In that sense, we believe that human rights begin “in small places close to home,” as Eleanor Roosevelt, credited with founding the modern human rights movement, so famously observed.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kirchick’s argument comes dangerously close to embracing the ugly specter of U.S. exceptionalism — the idea, in this case, that because things are relatively better in this country, the United States need not participate on an equal footing or with equal candor in reviewing its own human rights record. At heart, this argument stands in contrast to Eleanor Roosevelt’s equally famous human rights exhortation that “without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” continue reading The Council for Global Equality’s rebuttal here
Read the submission to the UN here