U.N. Report LGBTQ Rights in the U.S.

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U.N. Report LGBTQ Rights in the U.S.

U.N. Report Raises Concerns About LGBTQ+ Rights in the U.S.

The recent report by the U.N. Human Rights Committee (HRC) expresses deep concerns about the state of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, marking a significant moment of international scrutiny. This report, emerging from the committee’s first review of U.S. human rights in nine years, underscores a worrying trend in state-level discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.

U.S. Violations of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The HRC’s report points to 29 areas where the U.S. is seen as violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the U.S. ratified in 1992. A primary focus is the escalating discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Notably, the report criticizes specific laws that ban or criminalize gender-affirming health care for transgender individuals and restrict discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in educational settings, such as the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida.

HRC Urges Repeal of Discriminatory State Laws in the U.S.

Despite acknowledging some federal reforms like the 2022 Respect for Marriage Act, the HRC urges the U.S. to repeal state laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ persons. The committee also emphasizes the need for the Biden administration to intensify efforts against violence and discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people, improve hate crime data collection, and provide reparations to victims and their families.

Broader Human Rights Issues Highlighted in the Report

Beyond LGBTQ+ rights, the report also highlights concerns about other human rights issues in the U.S., including the treatment of Indigenous women, the criminalization of homelessness, military drone bombings, racism in policing, and the lack of human rights protections in U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and Guam.

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Criticism of U.S. Delegation’s Responses by Human Rights Groups

Critically, human rights groups, such as the ACLU and Human Rights Watch, have expressed disappointment with the U.S. delegation’s responses during the review, perceiving them as insufficient and lacking seriousness, particularly on matters of policing and military conduct.

Previous U.N. Scrutiny on U.S. LGBTQ+ Rights

This scrutiny from the U.N. is not new regarding U.S. LGBTQ+ rights. In the previous year, U.N. Independent Expert Victor Madrigal-Borloz highlighted the absence of equality for LGBTQ+ U.S. citizens, citing the use of their lives as political tools based on prejudiced and stigmatizing views.

HRC’s Findings as a Call to Action for U.S. Lawmakers

The HRC’s findings are a call to action for U.S. lawmakers at both state and federal levels to address and rectify these human rights violations, aligning with international human rights standards and commitments.

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