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