Press Release

International Day against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia: IACHR and international experts issue joint statement on the freedom of religion or belief and the rights of LGBT persons

May 14, 2021

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), along with United Nations treaty bodies, experts, and the Council of Europe issued a Joint Statement on the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. The statement calls on States and other stakeholders to consider the negative impact of exclusionary or stigmatizing narratives on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and gender diverse (LGBT) persons. The statement also brings attention to the need to ensure that religion and tradition are not utilized to promote the discrimination of persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

This joint pronouncement is part of the cooperation and coordination initiatives that the IACHR has undertaken with other international, regional, and sub-regional organizations and mechanisms within the framework of the strategic objective of universalization of the Inter-American Human Rights System, which is part of the Strategic Plan 2017-2021. In this regard, the Commission stresses that coordination and complementarity with other organizations helps strengthen international standards for the protection of human rights and provides relevant experience and knowledge for the international community.

IACHR reaffirms its commitment to continue to engage with States and civil society organizations, including those engaging with faith-based institutions, as they address the underlying causes of prejudice-based violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons in the region.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 121/21