Last edited: February 14, 2005

HRC Lauds Congressional Resolution Condemning International Human Rights Violations Against GLBT People

Builds on 55-Year-Old Universal Declaration of Human Rights Guaranteeing Rights of Individual Life, Liberty and Security

Human Rights Campaign, November 20, 2003
1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20036-3278

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Shields
Phone: (202) 216-1564
Cell:  (202) 716-1637

Contact: J. Smith
Phone: (202) 216-1580
Cell: (202) 716-1650

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign lauded today’s introduction of a bipartisan congressional resolution that condemns international human rights violations committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“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.”

For more information on these human rights violations, please visit or

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that GLBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.


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