THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011
Statement by the President on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Today, for the first time in history, the United Nations adopted a resolution dedicated to advancing the basic human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) persons. This marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights -- and entitled to the same protections -- as all human beings. The United States stands proudly with those nations that are standing up to intolerance, discrimination, and homophobia. Advancing equality for LGBT persons should be the work of all peoples and all nations. LGBT persons are entitled to equal treatment, equal protection, and the dignity that comes with being full members of our diverse societies. As the United Nations begins to codify and enshrine the promise of equality for LGBT persons, the world becomes a safer, more respectful, and more humane place for all people.
Statement by Secretary Clinton
United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
Today, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the first ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love.
The United States worked with the main sponsor, South Africa, and a number of other countries from many regions of the world to help pass this resolution, including Brazil, Colombia, members of the European Union, and others. This resolution will commission the first ever UN report on the challenges that LGBT persons face around the globe and will open a broader international discussion on how to best promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.
All over the world, people face human rights abuses and violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including torture, rape, criminal sanctions, and killing. Today's landmark resolution affirms that human rights are universal. People cannot be excluded from protection simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The United States will continue to stand up for human rights wherever there is inequality and we will seek more commitments from countries to join this important resolution.
USUN PRESS RELEASE #117
Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, June 17, 2011
I am pleased that the UN Human Rights Council today adopted the first-ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Today's vote marks a victory for defenders of human rights. It sends a clear message that abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity must end. It commissions the first-ever UN report to investigate the challenges that LGBT persons face. The United States took a leading role in the resolution's adoption, and we pledge to continue to fight discrimination in any guise and embrace diversity in every form.
The United States joined the UN Human Rights Council in 2009 to change a flawed institution from within through direct and sustained engagement. Since then, we have worked in the Council to shine the spotlight on human rights abusers, promote tolerance for religious beliefs, and mobilize international action against hate. We will continue to stand firm on behalf of all who are at risk of violence or discrimination. And we will continue to work to ensure that rights that are universally held are universally protected.