Fighting Homophobia and LGBT Persecution

U.N. member states recently voted to remove sexual orientation from the list of recognized grounds on which people should be protected from extrajudicial execution.

Homosexuality is criminalized in dozens of countries across the world. People are at risk of violence and persecution in many more.

We have a chance to confront related challenges at a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), where dozens of world leaders will meet to discuss security and human rights.

Help us urge Secretary Clinton to fight human rights violations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people at this international summit.

Gay Pride Bashing
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Dear Secretary Clinton,

I’m writing you because I’m concerned about violations of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and know that you will soon have the possibility to urge action at the Summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

This is all the more important given that U.N. member states recently voted to remove sexual orientation from the list of recognized grounds on which people should be protected from extrajudicial execution. The OSCE Summit is an opportunity to advance the rights of LGBT persons within this important multilateral institution. The human dimension activities of the OSCE can and should be inclusive of rights violations against LGBT individuals.

At the OSCE summit, I ask that you make reference in your formal interventions and in your bilateral meetings to the need for participating states to address violations of the human dignity and fundamental freedoms of LGBT citizens and urge the states to act.

After many years of silence, and despite continued opposition from a number of states, these issues increasingly have been addressed within the OSCE framework, including by OSCE institutions like the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and its Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Program. But we need to make sure they remain on the table, and we make progress.

I urge the U.S. to promote the rights of LGBT persons by voicing these concerns at the OSCE Summit and ensuring their inclusion on the agenda of a Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on racism and discrimination, which the U.S. has requested be conducted in 2011.

Sincerely,
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