U.S. State Department releases report documenting international abuse of LGBT people
February 27, 2009
Yesterday, the State Department released its annual report examining the human rights record of 190 countries around the world. As in past years, these reports reflect continued mistreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including arrest and other abuses by government officials, rape, and even murder. The Council for Global Equality, of which HRC is a member, has assembled a summary of the abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity detailed in the country reports here (.PDF) – for example:
Nigeria On September 12, local newspapers Nation, Vanguard, PM News and the Sunday Sun published photos, names, and addresses of members of the House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered‐friendly church in Lagos. Following publication, persons started harassing the 12 members. One woman was attacked by 11 men, while others were threatened, stoned, and beaten. No investigation was initiated by year's end. … Turkey On July 15, 26 year‐old Ahmet Yildiz was shot and killed leaving a cafe in Istanbul. Yildiz had represented the country in an international gay gathering in San Francisco in 2007. Yildiz's family disapproved of his homosexuality, and his body remained unclaimed in the morgue for six days. Yildiz had previously filed a complaint with the police after receiving threats. Police collected statements from friends and family, but had not begun an investigation by year's end.
The Council has also created a “top ten” (.PDF) list of abusive countries and ways the State Department can respond. We thank the Council, and its other member organizations, on their great work on behalf of LGBT people worldwide. HRC also applauds the State Department for documenting these abuses against LGBT people. With recent advocacy for LGBT rights at the UN and indications of support for providing benefits to the partners of Foreign Service Officers, the State Department under the direction of President Obama and Secretary Clinton have already begun to change the course of U.S. foreign policy regarding LGBT people. HRC will continue to lobby the State Department to take proactive steps on behalf of LGBT people around the world.