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H.Con.Res. 331 (eh) [Engrossed in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. CON. RES. 330

 Expressing the concern of Congress regarding human rights violations 
   committed against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered 
 (LGBT) individuals around the world based on their real or perceived 
                 sexual orientation or gender identity.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           November 19, 2003

  Mr. Lantos (for himself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. 
    Gephardt, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Moran of Virginia, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. 
Pallone, Mr. Matsui, Ms. Norton, Ms. Lee, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. McNulty, 
 Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Engel, Mr. McDermott, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Berman, Ms. 
    Schakowsky, Mr. George Miller of California, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. 
Conyers, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Evans, Mr. Jackson 
of Illinois, Ms. Millender-McDonald, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Weiner, 
Mrs. Maloney, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Frost, Mr. Stark, Mr. Levin, Mr. Filner, 
    Mr. Allen, Mr. Capuano, Mr. Olver, Mr. Wexler, Mr. Sanders, Ms. 
 McCollum, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Owens, Ms. Baldwin, and Ms. 
   Majette) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was 
          referred to the Committee on International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
 Expressing the concern of Congress regarding human rights violations 
   committed against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered 
 (LGBT) individuals around the world based on their real or perceived 
                 sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This concurrent resolution may be cited as the ``International 
Human Rights Equality Resolution''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) International treaties, conventions, and declarations 
        to which the United States is a party establish binding 
        government obligations to combat international human rights 
        violations, and the overall goals and compliance with the 
        standards of these treaties, conventions, and declarations are 
        an integral part of United States domestic and foreign policy.
            (2) Articles 3 and 5 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of 
        Human Rights and Articles 6, 7, and 9 of the 1966 International 
        Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantee all 
        individuals the right to life, liberty, and security of person, 
        and guarantee that no one shall be subjected to torture or to 
        cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, and the 
        1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or 
        Degrading Treatment or Punishment reinforces the commitment of 
        countries to prevent torture within their jurisdictions.
            (3) Articles 2 and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human 
        Rights and Articles 2, 14, and 26 of the International Covenant 
        on Civil and Political Rights guarantee all individuals freedom 
        from arbitrary discrimination and equal protection before the 
        law.
            (4) Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of 
        Human Rights and Articles 19 and 22 of the International 
        Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantee all 
        individuals freedom of expression and association.
            (5) On April 24, 2003, the United States voted for United 
        Nations Human Rights Commission Resolution 2003/53, which in 
        section 5 ``[r]eaffirms the obligation of States to ensure the 
        protection of the inherent right to life of all persons under 
        their jurisdiction and calls upon States concerned to 
        investigate promptly and thoroughly all cases of killings 
        committed in the name of passion or in the name of honour, all 
        killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including 
        sexual orientation''.
            (6) The Amici Curiae brief filed with the United States 
        Supreme Court in the case of Lawrence v. Texas (2003) by Mary 
        Robinson, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human 
        Rights, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, 
        Interights, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and Minnesota 
        Advocates for Human Rights, authoritatively lays out the 
        globally accepted protections of privacy and equal protection 
        under international and foreign national laws. Specifically, 
        the brief establishes that international courts and treaty 
        bodies have construed the equal treatment provisions of almost 
        every major international human rights treaty to ban 
        discrimination based on sexual orientation.
            (7) While full equal protection and an end to all 
        discrimination of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and 
        transgendered individuals have not been achieved in the United 
        States, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority in Lawrence 
        v. Texas, cited the Robinson brief and upheld those 
        international principals.
            (8) The fundamental human right not to be arbitrarily 
        deprived of life is violated when lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, 
        and transgendered individuals (hereafter referred to as ``LGBT 
        individuals'') are victims of extra judicial, summary, and 
        arbitrary executions for consensual adult same sex relations by 
        state and non-state actors with impunity in countries such as 
        Guatemala, Chile, Honduras and El Salvador.
            (9) The fundamental human right not to be arbitrarily 
        deprived of life is further threatened when countries such as 
        Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, and Iran call for the possible 
        execution of those convicted of consensual adult same sex 
        relations.
            (10) The fundamental right not to be subjected to torture 
        or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment is violated 
        when the criminal laws in a number of countries such as 
        Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran sanction corporal punishment 
        including whipping and flogging and other forms of torture for 
        individuals convicted of consensual adult same sex relations.
            (11) The fundamental right not to be subjected to torture 
        or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment is violated 
        when LGBT individuals are subjected to severe beatings while in 
        police custody in countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Nepal 
        and Uganda, and individuals in these groups are also routinely 
        the victims of human rights abuses, such as extortion, 
        entrapment, physical assaults, and rape, committed by the 
        security officials in Egypt, Zimbabwe, and Ecuador, among other 
        countries.
            (12) The fundamental right not to be subjected to arbitrary 
        discrimination and arrest is violated in countries such as 
        Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Uganda, and Kuwait, when their penal laws 
        criminalize same-sex behavior between consenting adults.
            (13) The fundamental rights not to be subjected to 
        arbitrary discrimination and arrest are further violated when 
        countries such as Egypt maintain deliberately vague laws which 
        penalize offences such as ``habitual debauchery'' and the 
        vagueness of these laws makes their enforcement difficult to 
        monitor.
            (14) The fundamental rights of freedom of expression and 
        association are violated when countries deny the right of LGBT 
        individuals to form organizations or advocate for their rights 
        or to threaten individuals who have expressed intentions to do 
        so. The Government of Zambia has threatened individuals of the 
        Zambian Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Association (LEGATRA) with 
        arrest, members of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) 
        have also been threatened and also brutally assaulted, and 
        nongovernmental LGBT advocacy organizations in Namibia were 
        harassed and threatened by the government.
            (15) In some countries, agents of the government are 
        directing or are complicitous in abuses committed on the basis 
        of sexual orientation and gender identity, and investigation 
        and prosecution of those agents for these violations of 
        international law often do not occur. Due to the failure by 
        governments to investigate and prosecute human rights 
        violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, 
        private individuals feel encouraged to attack violently LGBT 
        individuals with impunity, contributing to an atmosphere of 
        fear and intimidation for LGBT individuals.
            (16) The human rights violations that lesbian and bisexual 
        women suffer because of their real or perceived sexual identity 
        are particularly vitriolic because of their gender, and, 
        moreover, the aggravated abuse of these women often goes 
        unreported because of their gender.

SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

    Congress--
            (1) condemns all violations of internationally recognized 
        human rights norms based on the real or perceived sexual 
        orientation or gender identity of an individual;
            (2) recognizes that the protection of sexual orientation 
        and gender identity is not a special category of human rights, 
        but is fully embedded in the overall human rights norms set 
        forth in international law, including the international 
        conventions to which the United States is a party;
            (3) affirms that human rights abuses abroad based on sexual 
        orientation and gender identity should be punished without 
        discrimination and classified as crimes and that such 
        violations should be given the same consideration and concern 
        as human rights abuses based on other grounds;
            (4) commends the United Nations and nongovernmental human 
        rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human 
        Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human 
        Rights Commission, for documenting the ongoing abuses of human 
        rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; 
        and
            (5) calls on the Department of State to continue to improve 
        its documentation of human rights abuses on the basis of sexual 
        orientation and gender identity, to give such violations the 
        same consideration and concern as all other human rights 
        abuses, and to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat such 
        abuses abroad.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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