On November 20th, The Human Rights Campaign lauded the introduction of a bipartisan congressional resolution that condemns international human
rights violations committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual and
"In at least 80 countries, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people
are singled out under enforceable laws that often result in inhumane
punishment, including imprisonment, torture and even execution," said
Winnie Stachelberg, HRC's political director. "No human being,
regardless of their gender identity, gender expression or their sexual
orientation, should be subject to such cruel treatment. This resolution
would condemn these vicious forms of discrimination and violence."
Passed in 1948 by the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights guarantees every human with the fundamental right to life,
liberty and security of person, and that every human should be free from
torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
However, in Zambia and Zimbabwe, GLBT individuals are threatened and
brutally assaulted for their advocacy of equal rights. In Saudia Arabia,
Yemen, Mauritania and Iran, GLBT people face possible execution for
adult, consensual same-sex relations.
This resolution, introduced by Reps. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., and
Christopher Shays, R-Conn., condemns all violations of international
recognized human rights norms based on the real or perceived sexual
orientation or gender identity of an individual.
"It has often been said that with great power comes great
responsibility. As one of the most fortunate and powerful country's on
the planet, the United States has a tremendous responsibility to speak
out and protect those who may not be able to protect themselves," said
Christopher Labonte, HRC's deputy director for legislation. "The
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty
International and the United Nations should all be recognized for the
hard work they're doing to document these abuses. We urge all members of
the House to co-sponsor and adopt this important resolution."
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