Archive for June, 2011



Join the Pride Month Celebration with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Monday, June 27, 2011 at approximately 10:25 a.m. and will be streamed live on www.state.gov.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on “The Human Rights of LGBT People and U.S. Foreign Policy” at an event co-hosted by the State Department and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA).

The event will be open to credentialed members of the media and streamed live on www.state.gov.

Preceding the Secretary’s remarks, Under Secretary Maria Otero will lead a panel discussion with senior U.S. Government Officials at 9:30 a.m. The discussion topics will include the status of LGBT people around the world and how the U.S. Government can promote the protection of their human rights. The panel discussion will also be open to credentialed members of the media.

The event is part of a series of LGBT Pride Month celebrations at the U.S. Department of State.

Press access times will be forthcoming in the public schedule.

PRESS CONTACTS
Michelle Schohn
GLIFAA Spokesperson
(703) 881-6117

Department of State
Office of Press Relations
(202) 647-2492

GLIFAA, officially recognized by the U.S. State Department, represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) personnel and their families in the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and other foreign affairs agencies and offices in the U.S. Government. Founded in 1992 by fewer than a dozen employees who faced official harassment simply because of their sexual orientation, GLIFAA continues to seek equality and fairness for LGBT employees and their families. For more information, please visit http://www.glifaa.org/ or follow @GLIFAA on Twitter.

The Dark Closet

Foreign Policy MagazineRepost from Foreign Policy

Don’t let the Amina hoax distract attention from the plight of the real gay community in Syria.

DAMASCUS, Syria In a city like Damascus, with its beautiful culture, amazing people, lovely food, and unmatchable history, one feels like they could be anything — anything but gay, that is.

When Tom MacMaster, an American master’s degree student living in Scotland, revealed himself to be the writer behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, it shattered the trust between the Middle Eastern blogosphere and the foreign media, and endangered the lives of queer people across the region who stepped out of the closet to answer questions about “Amina,” MacMaster’s fictional creation.

I remember sitting on a balcony overlooking rainy Damascus this April with my best friend in the city, who happens to be a lesbian, chatting about the queer community here. Continue reading at Foreign Policy

US State Department Briefing on LGBT Resolution at UN Human Rights Council

The following post is the transcript of a phone briefing held by the US State Department after the historic vote by the UN Human Rights Council on LGBT Human rights.

Press Releases: Briefing on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Resolution at UN Human Rights Council
Fri, 17 Jun 2011 15:11:19 -0500

Special Briefing
Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs
Suzanne Nossel
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs
Daniel Baer
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Via Teleconference, Washington, DC

OPERATOR: Welcome, everyone, and thank you for standing by. At this time, I’d like to inform all participants that your lines are in a listen-only mode until the question-and-answer session of today’s conference call. If you would like to ask questions, please press *1 on your touchtone phone. To withdraw your request, you may press *2. Today’s call is being recorded, and I will now turn it over to our first speaker, Mr. Mark Toner. Thank you. You may begin.

MR. TONER: Good morning, and thanks to everyone for joining us on such relatively short notice. As you know, this morning, at least our time, but earlier today, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the first ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. And here to talk to us today about this historic resolution, we have our Ambassador to the Human Rights Council Eileen Donahoe as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Suzanne Nossel, and our Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Dan Baer.

Without further ado, I’ll hand it off to Ambassador Donahoe just to make some brief remarks, and I believe that Suzanne and Dan will also chime in before we take your questions. So over to you, Ambassador. Continue reading ‘US State Department Briefing on LGBT Resolution at UN Human Rights Council’

Statement by the President on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

President Barack ObamaThe White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

June 17, 2011

Today, for the first time in history, the United Nations adopted a resolution dedicated to advancing the basic human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. This marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights — and entitled to the same protections — as all human beings.  The United States stands proudly with those nations that are standing up to intolerance, discrimination, and homophobia.  Advancing equality for LGBT persons should be the work of all peoples and all nations.  LGBT persons are entitled to equal treatment, equal protection, and the dignity that comes with being full members of our diverse societies.  As the United Nations begins to codify and enshrine the promise of equality for LGBT persons, the world becomes a safer, more respectful, and more humane place for all people.

####

Related Articles:

Sec. Hillary Clinton on UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

Sec. Hillary Clinton on UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham ClintonPress Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 17, 2011

Today, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the first ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love.

The United States worked with the main sponsor, South Africa, and a number of other countries from many regions of the world to help pass this resolution, including Brazil, Colombia, members of the European Union, and others. This resolution will commission the first ever UN report on the challenges that LGBT persons face around the globe and will open a broader international discussion on how to best promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.

All over the world, people face human rights abuses and violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including torture, rape, criminal sanctions, and killing. Today’s landmark resolution affirms that human rights are universal. People cannot be excluded from protection simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The United States will continue to stand up for human rights wherever there is inequality and we will seek more commitments from countries to join this important resolution.

####

Related Posts:

Statement by Amb. Susan E. Rice;

UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Repost from U.S. Mission to the United Nations

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
June 17, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

I am pleased that the UN Human Rights Council today adopted the first-ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Today’s vote marks a victory for defenders of human rights. It sends a clear message that abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity must end. It commissions the first-ever UN report to investigate the challenges that LGBT persons face. The United States took a leading role in the resolution’s adoption, and we pledge to continue to fight discrimination in any guise and embrace diversity in every form.

The United States joined the UN Human Rights Council in 2009 to change a flawed institution from within through direct and sustained engagement. Since then, we have worked in the Council to shine the spotlight on human rights abusers, promote tolerance for religious beliefs, and mobilize international action against hate. We will continue to stand firm on behalf of all who are at risk of violence or discrimination. And we will continue to work to ensure that rights that are universally held are universally protected.

###

See Related Post UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

UN Adopts Groundbreaking Resolution Affirming that LGBT Rights are Human Rights

UNHRC logoJune 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.

The United States was represented at the adoption by U.S. Ambassador Eileen Donahoe and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer.  Baer noted the importance the United States placed on this vote, emphasizing that “this resolution confirms to millions of people around the world that every person – every human being on this planet – matters.  As Secretary Clinton said, ‘Gay rights are human rights.’ So are the rights of religious minorities, the disabled and so many others who have been historically ignored or persecuted, not for what they do but for what they are. This is an important step in the quest for dignity for all. And I am proud that the U.S. is a part of it.”

This is 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.  A vocal coalition of civil society advocates, coordinated by ARC International, also gathered in Geneva to push the UN to adopt the text.  Those advocates, together with non-governmental leaders in South Africa, worked with the South African government to refine the text and then lobbied hard for its adoption.  See the full text of the statement from the NGO coalition that supported the resolution here.

The United States was an official co-sponsor of the resolution and worked with South Africa and other co-sponsors from Europe, Latin America and Asia to secure its passage.  Under President Obama and with the leadership of Secretary of State Clinton, the United States has become a strong voice for LGBT rights at the United Nations.

View the vote count here.


Stay Informed

Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 230 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

  • RT @NeelaGhoshal: "Kenya’s High Court has relegated people in same-sex relationships in Kenya to second-class citizenship." Our take on tod…@global_equality 1 day ago

Categories