Posts Tagged 'Julie Dorf'



2012 Global Equality Leadership Award Event Photos

We would like to thank everyone who attended the award ceremony and reception for Ambassador Susan E. Rice, especially our gracious hosts. For those of you who were not able make it, you can view some photos from the event.

Ambassador Rice’s remarks, at the event, were not only moving, they were humorous, determined, and and most of all genuine. So glad that the LGBT community has an ally with her principles and drive. Stay tuned for a short video of the award ceremony.

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All photos by Noah Devereaux

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The Council for Global Equality honors Ambassador Susan E. Rice with the 2012 Global Equality Leadership Award

Ambassador Susan E. Rice accepting The Global Equality Leadership Award

Photo: Noah Devereaux

October 10, 2012 – The Council for Global Equality honored Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, with its 2012 Global Equality Leadership Award at a reception this evening at the home of Mitch Draizin and Fritz Brugere-Trelat.  The award recognizes U.S. leadership in support of LGBT equality in the United States and abroad.  Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was the last award recipient.

Former U.S. Ambassador Michael Guest, a former State Department colleague of Rice and currently a Senior Adviser to the Council for Global Equality, presented the award to her.  In his remarks, he noted the leadership qualities he had seen in Ambassador Rice across her many years of public service and described how those qualities had empowered the UN’s growing recognition that LGBT rights are human rights.

In accepting the award, Rice noted that “I am truly honored to receive this recognition, because LGBT rights has been one of my personal passions throughout my tenure at the United Nations and long before.”  She explained that the struggle is personal, noting “the fight for equal rights is fundamental.  It defines who I am, how I was raised, where I come from, and where I am determined to go. . . . That principle is what made us a nation and its implementation, progressively but still not sufficiently, is at the core of our work to perfect our nation.”  She emphasized that “LGBT individuals around the world have sacrificed so much – including in some cases their lives – to seek and obtain their basic human rights.”

Mark Bromley, Chair of the Council for Global Equality, noted that “in December 2008, just before Ambassador Rice took her seat at the UN, the United States refused to join a basic UN statement affirming that LGBT rights are human rights, leaving us alone among all of our close allies in our regional Western voting bloc at the UN to reject that fundamental premise.  Since then, thanks to Ambassador Rice’s personal commitment and leadership, the United States has emerged as one of the strongest international advocates for LGBT rights at the UN and beyond.”

Julie Dorf, also Senior Adviser to the Council for Global Equality and the founder of the New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), which advocates for LGBT rights globally, noted Rice’s leadership in securing UN recognition for IGLHRC, the first such UN recognition for an LGBT group from the United States.  That status allows IGLHRC to speak in support of LGBT rights at UN human rights fora.  IGLHRC’s current Executive Director, Jessica Stern, also thanked Ambassador Rice for her leadership and noted the role that organizations like hers are playing in partnering with supportive governments to advance LGBT equality for all.

Under the leadership of Ambassador Susan Rice, the United States has finally joined our closest allies in the UN in condemning violence, harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  And by directing the full force of U.S. diplomacy to such long-neglected human rights concerns, Rice helped put LGBT rights firmly on the UN agenda with an unprecedented new appeal to all countries in all regions.  In accepting the award, Rice said that the struggles in support of LGBT equality at the United Nations are some of her “proudest moments at the UN,” recognizing that “together, we’ve made a bit of history. The UN is far different today than it was four years ago.”  The Council for Global Equality is proud to be a partner in such history and proud to recognize the leadership of Ambassador Susan Rice.

Advocacy at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC

Global Activists  Meet at the White House. International AIDS ConferenceDuring the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington this summer, the Council organized a series of meetings for 60 LGBT leaders from around the world to introduce them to U.S. government officials representing U.S. foreign affairs agencies.  LGBT leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean held in-depth roundtable discussions with regional bureaus at the State Department and with the White House.  The meetings provided an opportunity for frontline activists to explain how they have experienced the recent change in U.S. foreign policy, whereby President Obama has directed “all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”

There was widespread appreciation for the new collaboration that LGBT advocates are receiving from U.S. embassies around the world.  In that sense, many activists described the meetings as having an historic quality to them.  The participants shared stories about U.S. embassy personnel reaching out to LGBT advocates, and they offered a number of positive comments on specific aspects of U.S. programming abroad.  At the same time, the Council recorded feedback on how our government can continue to improve its efforts to support local LGBT organizations in hostile environments internationally, including the following points:

  • U.S. embassy posts should engage LGBT organizations in an annual human rights dialogue across the year.  In parallel, posts should catalogue the priority needs of these organizations, with a view to discerning the relevance of State, USAID and other foreign affairs agency programming.
  • The Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator at the State Department should underscore to its overseas PEPFAR administrators that, as a matter of national policy integrity, programming for men who have sex with men (MSM) should be included in each country plan, regardless of whether host countries suggest this as a priority.
  • All U.S. foreign affairs agencies should integrate LGBT human and civil rights issues into training provided to U.S. and overseas employees.  Training should include both general policy information and its specific applicability to the overseas programs of individual agencies.
  • U.S. foreign affairs agencies should include binding contractual references to federal executive agency policies on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Only binding language can provide the leverage to ensure that program contractors do not undercut broader U.S. policy objectives through inappropriate projection of their personal biases.
  • The framing of our public diplomacy efforts is critical to their success.  Posts should engage local LGBT groups on the usefulness of public messaging on LGBT issues; what the content of that messaging might be; local or regional voices that might feature in any such messaging; and how this messaging might be integrated into broader democracy and civil society programming goals.
  • Further thought should be given to how LGBT individuals might be included in exchange programs related to democracy, civil society, and the rule of law.  LGBT inclusion in these programs should mirror in-country inclusion of LGBT people in post programs.
  • There is a clear need for greater engagement on rule of law issues impacting LGBT individuals abroad, including police training and post engagement with host governments on legal reform.  The recently passed U.S. hate crimes law could be a helpful fulcrum for this engagement.
  • Embassy posts should consider faith-focused programming, with the goal of encouraging dialogue between LGBT people and local faith leaders.  This engagement may be key to a long-term reduction of legislative and other discriminatory policies toward LGBT people.
  • Embassies should also consider increasing their small grant support for LGBT civil society groups, across all geographic regions.  These small grants, targeted toward needs identified by the groups themselves, can be lifelines for small and otherwise resource-stretched organizations.

Julie Dorf named to Go Magazines “100 Women That We Love”

Julie Dorf, Go Magazine's 100 Women We Love

photo: Ana Grillo

The leader of our nation has come out in support of LGBT equal rights—but millions of LGBT people around the globe have no such government advocate. Fortunately, they do have Julie Dorf. A leader in the movement toward international LGBT equality for the past 25 years, Dorf’s work ranges from lecturing on reparations for homosexual victims of Nazi persecution to acting as a philanthropic consultant for the world’s major social justice foundations. Based in San Francisco, she currently serves as the Senior Advisor to the Council for Global Equality, an organization she helped create and which advocates for LGBT-inclusive American foreign policy. Dorf also founded and directed the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) from 1990 to 2000, which advances the human rights of all people subjected to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. Abuse of LGBT individuals around the world is intractable—but Dorf is buoyed the fact that she “get[s] to work with and be inspired by so many amazing activists and thinkers from all over the world. I wake up every day feeling so fortunate. It is truly a privilege and a source of huge satisfaction to help make change for LGBT communities.” Find out who else made the list.

Analysis: The global impact of Obama’s support for gay marriage

President Barack Obama, Supports Gay Marriage

(Pete Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

The president’s decision represents a “next generation” for whom LGBT equality is a given.

May 10, 2012–As an LGBT rights advocate, I have experienced so many proud moments with our president. Our community in the United States can count a number of major achievements during President Obama’s tenure: an inclusive hate crimes law; the repeal of the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and the hugely important decision that the attorney general will longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

So when the rumors started buzzing yesterday morning that Obama was about to announce his support for marriage equality, it was yet another exciting moment of tangible progress in our country and by our president. When I watched the ABC interview, I was most struck by the weight he gave to his conversations around the dinner table with his daughters, who themselves have friends with lesbian and gay parents. Obama acknowledged that his daughters’ perspectives have helped him evolve: “It wouldn’t even dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.” Continue reading ‘Analysis: The global impact of Obama’s support for gay marriage’

Hilary Clinton’s landmark Human Rights Day speech

Julie Dorf, San Francisco Chronicle Op Ed, Hilary Clinton Human Rights SpeechOp Ed by Julie Dorf, Senior Advisor, The Council for Global Equality

As I listened to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s landmark Human Rights Day speech last week before a United Nations audience in Geneva, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was not alone in wiping tears away during the speech. Many others from our delegation of U.S. and global activists – State Department officials too – were equally touched by the secretary’s words. When it was over, I had never been prouder as an American, as an activist and as a lesbian.

Clinton was at her best. And we were there not only to witness that moment in history, but also because we were an integral part of shifting U.S. policy. Continue reading ‘Hilary Clinton’s landmark Human Rights Day speech’

Global Post begins series on the global battle over LGBT rights

Turkey Pride photo:Jodi-Hilton, GlobalPost

photo: Jodi Hilton/GlobalPost

Global Post an international news publication has begin its series “The Rainbow Struggle: A Global Battle Over Gay Rights“.  A team of four writers and photo journalists will present 12 reports on the international struggle for LGBT equality. The first installment was launched today “The Rainbow Struggle: A primer for the global gay rights battle” and it features quotes from Senior Advisor to The Council for Global Equality, Julie Dorf,  as well as from Council member Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch.

Global Post describes the series as “From the streets of New York City to the townships of South Africa, the LGBT rights movement and its opposition are engaged in an unprecendented international battle. Throughout October and November, we will present 12 in-depth reports from key locations at this pivotal time in history, telling highly personal, often overlooked stories from the fight.

You can read the first installment of this series here


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