Thursday, March 19, 2009

U.S. endorses sexual orientation statement

Yesterday -- 3 months to the day after scores of countries had joined in a Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity -- the iconic photo below of Eleanor Roosevelt holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights appeared on the 1st page of the website of the U.S. State Department, along with this proclamation:

Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity
The U.S. supports the UN Statement on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity,” and is pleased to join the other 66 UN member states who have declared their support of this Statement that condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity wherever they occur.

This endosrsment marked an about-face for the United States, which had declined to join other states in signing the French-Dutch sponsored Statement in December, at the U.N. General Assembly. It thus had parted ways with many of its allies, including supporters among "all 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia and Mexico" -- and had cast its lot with the "[m]ore than 50 nations, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference" plus the Vatican, which stood in opposition.
Today IntLawGrrls publishes the full text of the just-endorsed Statement below.

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