Obama Administration to Declare US Support for UN Declaration on LGBT Rights
March 18, 2009
From Brian Moulton, HRC's senior counsel: Even more good news from new leadership in the Obama Administration and the State Department under Secretary Clinton: according to the Associated Press, the U.S. will sign the U.N. General Assembly declaration supporting LGBT rights! New leadership at State clearly understands the importance of these issues:
"The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world," said one official. "As such, we join with the other supporters of this statement and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora," the official said. The official added that the United States was concerned about "violence and human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual individuals" and was also "troubled by the criminalization of sexual orientation in many countries." "In the words of the United States Supreme Court, the right to be free from criminalization on the basis of sexual orientation 'has been accepted as an integral part of human freedom'," the official said.
Only months ago, the Bush State Department refused to allow the U.S. to support the non-binding statement. HRC was a vocal critic of this refusal: 2,500 of our members called the State Department urging support of the declaration. Harry Knox, director of the HRC Foundation’s religion and faith program, also joined leaders of faith programs at other LGBT groups in issuing a statement countering opposition from the Vatican. We’ve seen lots of positive changes happening at the State Department – we applaud the leadership of President Obama and Secretary Clinton and will continue to push them to support LGBT rights at home and abroad. **UPDATE** Here's the official statement from Robert Wood, acting spokesperson for the State Department:
UN Statement on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity” The United States supports the UN Statement on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity,” and is pleased to join the other 66 UN member states who have declared their support of this Statement that condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity wherever they occur. The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world. As such, we join with the other supporters of this Statement and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora.
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Issues: Religion & Faith
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