HRC Blog

Report Submitted to United Nations on LGBT Human Rights in the U.S.

Earlier this week, HRC, as a member of the Council for Global Equality, submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council [PDF] as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The purpose of the submission was to highlight ways in which the United States can improve human rights domestically. Our submission focused on deterring LGBT hate crimes, prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBT people -- including the repeal of the discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law -- and increasing the ability of LGBT individuals to form secure and stable families. The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 members of the United Nations once every four years. The UPR was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. The U.S. will go through its first review in November 2010. As part of this process, the United Nations Human Rights Council solicited reports from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the U.S. These NGO reports will be considered during the review. The information they provide may be used by member nations during the review process. Equality State StateThe U.S. Department of State will also submit a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council this summer. This report will discuss what actions the U.S. has taken to improve human rights situations in the U.S. and how the U.S. has overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights at home. Like the United Nations Human Rights Council, the State Department has requested reports from NGOs. Our report will be provided to the State Department in the upcoming weeks. In addition, HRC has already provided the State Department with Equality from State to State 2009, which provides a review of state legislation that affects the LGBT community. These submissions are intended to provide the State Department with a window into the human rights concerns of LGBT individuals in the U.S. As the result of the UPR review process, a report will be prepared by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the U.S. This report, referred to as the “outcome report,” will provide a summary of the review process. It will consist of the questions, comments and recommendations made by reviewing nations, as well as the responses by the reviewed nation. After the outcome report is presented to the U.S., the U.S. will be requested to accept or reject the recommendations contained in the outcome report. The ultimate goal of the UPR process is to help reviewed nations identify human rights concerns occurring within their borders and to determine ways to address these concerns. HRC, along with the Council for Global Equality, will work throughout this year to ensure that the concerns of LGBT Americans will be addressed in the U.S.’s outcome report.

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