Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the
leadership of U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and
her Chilean counterpart Ambassador Cristian Barros Melet for holding
the first ever U.N. Security Council meeting on LGBT rights later today. Open to all U.N. member states, the gathering will focus on the appalling abuse and violence being perpetrated against LGBT people in areas in which ISIS exerts control.
“The gruesome images and videos documenting ISIS's horrific violence
are a haunting reminder of humankind's capacity for evil,” said HRC
President Chad Griffin. “By convening this meeting, Ambassadors Power
and Melet have made clear that these human rights abuses against LGBT
people are not only deeply heinous and inhumane, but also a matter of
utmost importance to global security.”
As it continues its path of destruction across Iraq and Syria, ISIS has released several images and videos documenting
the brutal execution of those accused of being LGBT. The International
Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has created a timeline of
attacks against allegedly LGBT people, including executions that often
involve throwing men from roof tops or stoning them to death. In a
particularly shocking example,
ISIS released videos of the public execution of four gay men on Twitter
on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage
equality, using the hashtag “Love Wins.”
Ambassador Power and the Obama Administration have made clear that the
rights of LGBT people are intrinsically part of America’s foreign policy
and national security strategies. In 2011, President Obama declared
that the “struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is
central to the United States’ commitment to promoting human rights.”
More recently, President Obama explained in
the 2015 State of the Union that protecting individuals, including
those who are LGBT, is in the national security interests of the United
States. Earlier this year, under the leadership of Secretary of State
John Kerry, Randy Berry was appointed the first ever Special Envoy for LGBTI Human Rights.
The situation for LGBT people around the world varies widely. As some
countries embrace equality, in others, LGBT people continue to suffer
from discrimination, persecution, and violence.
· 19 countries now have marriage equality and in two countries same-sex marriage is legal in certain jurisdictions.
· But in 10 countries worldwide, same-sex activity is punishable by death, and 75 countries criminalize same-sex relationships. Hundreds of transgender individuals have been brutally murdered in the last year.
· In a growing number of countries, governments have sought to silence equality advocates and organizations with so-called “anti-propaganda” laws and legislation.
Learn more about how the Human Rights Campaign is taking action and
working with allies around the world to make a difference at: www.hrc.org/global.