United States Reports to the UN on LGBT Discrimination
The US has submitted what advocates call an ‘honest’ report on LGBT discrimination to the United Nations.
The report is to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights (UNCHR) concerning the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It is the fourth such report and the first one by the Obama administration.
Reports submitted under the Bush administration ignored LGBT issues.
The UNCHR conducts periodic reviews and these have proved an important factor in securing change in many countries.
The coalition group the Council for Global Equality described the US submission as “an honest and reflective perspective on the state of LGBT rights in the United States.”
It details where LGBT rights have made progress as well as where they have been held back, citing the blocking in Congress of the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the failure to protect LGBT from discrimination in federal law (ENDA).
The Council says that the report provides the legal justification under international law which the United States has subscribed to for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent assertion that “human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all.”
The UN Committee has recognized rights to privacy and non-discrimination for LGBT individuals under the ICCPR since 1992.
In 2006, the US delegation, which included the head of the civil rights division of the Justice Department, denied these rights and were told by a member of the UN committee that they were demonstrating a lack of awareness of the “longstanding and consistent” jurisprudence of the Committee on these issues.
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