Post submitted by Yushuang Sun, HRC Global Engagement Intern
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) has adopted an LGBT human rights resolution in Asunción Paraguay. The resolution was sponsored by the Brazilian government and represents a crucial first step to end the silence around discrimination and violence against LGBT people in the Americas.
The resolution condemns all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and urges member states to consider adopting public policies to further eliminate discrimination.
Amid the General Assembly meeting, two LGBT advocacy organizations protested in front of the Paraguayan capital to oppose President Cartes’ decision to vote against the OAS resolution. More than 10 activists were injured.
The Americas have experienced a wave of pro-LGBT legislation in recent years. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Uruguay, parts of the U.S. and Mexico have legalized same-sex marriage. Chile has passed anti-discrimination laws. “Gay cure” clinics have been shut down in Ecuador and Brazil also co-sponsored the 2012 United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that calls for an end to worldwide discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.
However, the violence against LGBT community has increased in many countries despite these legal and political initiatives. According to OAS’s recent database on incidences of homophobic violence in the continent, on average one homicide regarding LGBT identity occurs every day in Latin America. LGBT individuals lack the institutional protection that comes from legal recognition. They also face rejection at many levels of society that limits their access to work, education, healthcare, and social networks.