Last edited: February 14, 2005

HRC Expresses Disappointment over U.N. Decision to Postpone Vote on Human Rights and Sexual Orientation Resolution

HRC Troubled by Reports Indicating U.S. Would Have Abstained from Voting

Human Rights Campaign, April 25, 2003

Contact: David M. Smith Phone:  (202) 216-1547 Cell:  (202) 251-1447
Contact: Mark Shields Phone:  (202) 216-1564 Cell:   (202) 258-3667

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign expressed disappointment today at the postponement of a vote on a “Human Rights and Sexual Orientation” resolution before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The proposed resolution expressed deep concern at the widespread abuses based on sexual orientation around the globe and called upon all nations to protect the human rights of all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

“We are very disappointed that the Commission on Human Rights has chosen to postpone action that affirms the basic human rights of the world’s gay, lesbian and bisexual population, who along with the transgender community, are routinely subjected to discrimination and inhumane treatment,” said HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch. “Lasting global peace begins with basic human rights for all the world’s citizens.”

A consortium of nations led by Pakistan attempted Thursday to block consideration of the resolution the resolution. In a 24-22 vote, the United States supported its consideration. While the Commission on Human Rights adjourned before the resolution could be voted on, reports indicated that the Bush administration would have abstained from voting, indicating that other language, not necessarily linked to sexual orientation, was problematic.

HRC sent letters to Secretary of State Collin Powell, and Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and current head of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, urging them to support the resolution.

“We are troubled by reports that the U.S. would choose to abstain from voting on a resolution that would protect the civil and human rights of the world’s gay community,” said Birch. “We are eager to work with the State Department, allied groups and our supporters in Congress on this resolution when it next comes up for consideration.”

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


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