Ending Acts of Violence and Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On March 22, 2011, at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, 85 countries supported a Joint Statement entitled "Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity." This follows previous statements on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons issued at the United Nations, including a 2006 statement by 54 countries at the Human Rights Council, and a 2008 statement that has garnered 67 countries' support at the General Assembly. The United States is amongst the signatory states to both previous efforts. The United States co-chaired the core group of countries that have worked to submit this statement, along with Colombia and Slovenia.

This statement adds new references not seen in previous LGBT statements at the UN, including: welcoming attention to LGBT issues as a part of the Universal Periodic Review process, noting the increased attention to LGBT issues in regional human rights fora, encouraging the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue addressing LGBT issues, and calls for states to end criminal sanctions based on LGBT status. The statement garnered support from every region of the world, including 21 signatories from the Western Hemisphere, 43 from Europe, 5 from Africa, and 16 from the Asia/Pacific region.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, "This statement is an example of America's commitment to human rights through dialogue, open discussion and frank conversation with countries we don't always agree with on every issue. In Geneva, our conversations about the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals with countries where sexual orientation is not only stigmatized, but criminalized, are helping to advance a broader and deeper global dialogue about these issues. As I said last June, gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights. We will continue to promote human rights around the world for all people who are marginalized and discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity. And we will not rest until every man, woman and child is able to live up to his or her potential free from persecution or discrimination of any kind."

You can read Secretary Clinton's full remarks here, and more about the joint statement here.



Virginia R.
Wisconsin, USA
March 25, 2011

Virginia R. in Wisconsin writes:

TO: Hillary Clinton


This letter is written to request the US Dept of State formally protest the forced virginity tests of women in Egypt.

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month. Arrested female demonstrators were tortured with shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.

It is important that the US act now while the new government is forming in Egypt to insure that women's rights are elevated, especially in all aspects of the legal system.

The State Dept. should ask that all women army units be formed inside the Egyptian armyand sd dpecial police units. These female units should be trained and armed. They should have jurisdiction over all females immediately, at the scene of a woman's arrest and throughout their custody within the Egyptian legal system. Female officers should act as protectors, counselors, and guardians, especially in domestic disputes.

Volunteer US female army trainers and military police are available to facilitate the implementation of this project. The Institute for Inclusive Security is also available.

Nevada, USA
March 27, 2011

Jill in Nevada writes:

I was wondering if the State Department was coordinating with U.N. Woman concerning woman issues.

A Hand Holds a Rainbow Flag
Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 23, 2011


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