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.
The Council is gratified by the strong support shown by the U.S. Government and by the Department of State in particular. Earlier today, the Department released a fact sheet outlining key components of the statement. As noted in that document, the U.S. played a strong leadership role in today’s result, and the newly adopted statement adds a number of references not seen in previous LGBT statements at the UN. Continue reading