Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Victor Madrigal
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by
Special Envoy for Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Jessica Stern
Human Rights Council – 53rd Session
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Thank you, Mr. Madrigal-Borloz, for your invaluable reporting and work to address discrimination and violence against LGBTQI+ persons globally. The United States was pleased to welcome your official visit last August and looks forward to carrying on this important work with your successor.
The United States welcomes your current report and its emphasis on the intersections between religion, belief, identity, and expression. Religious freedom cannot flourish without respect for the human rights of all persons. The urgent work of promoting and protecting human rights requires engagement throughout our communities, including with religious actors, as we seek inclusive, tolerant, and rights-based societies. We have been heartened by numerous faith-based leaders, from diverse religious traditions, who continue to support acceptance for all people.
We must also address the global trend of instrumentalizing and misusing religion, customs, traditions, and culture to justify discriminatory legislation and attacks against LGBTQI+ persons. Uganda’s recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act is just one tragic example that infringes on the rights of LGBTQI+ persons. We join UN Secretary General among many others around the world, including in Uganda, who call for its immediate repeal.
During Pride Month, which is celebrated globally, I hope we leverage this call to action and reaffirm that every human being, regardless of who they love, is born free and equal in dignity and rights.
I thank you.
Question: Mr. Independent Expert, how can governments best work with faith-based communities and civil society to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons?