About ComissionerRoberta Clarke, Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI Persons
Snapshot of the situation of the rights of LGBTI persons in the region
10 Apr | 🇲🇽 Mexico: Entry into force of the Jalisco State Government’s Decree instituting marriage equality. More info.
11 Apr | 🇺🇸 USA: The US State Department began routinely issuing passports with the option of an “X” gender marker. More info.
25 Apr | 🇨🇷 Costa Rica:The Criminal Code was revised to designate aggravated homicides motivated by sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression as hate crimes. More info.
28 Apr | 🇨🇦 Canada: The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan ordered that summary offense forms, including traffic tickets, include the option of an “X” gender marker. More info.
02 May | 🇦🇷 Argentina: The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship designated Alba Rueda Special Envoy for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. She is the first trans woman to occupy this post. More info here and here.
05 May | 🇨🇷 Costa Rica: The State of Costa Rica issued a decree that changed the Migratory Identity Card for Foreigners to include as gender markers the options male (M), female (F), non-binary (X), and not indicated (N/I). More info.
09 May | 🇭🇳 Honduras: Public recognition of international responsibility in the case of Vicky Hernández and commitment to comply with the orders of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in that case. More info.
12 May | 🇧🇷 Brazil: A court in São Paulo determined that a policy for the free distribution of menstrual hygiene products in schools must include transmasculine students. More info.
13 May | 🇧🇴 Bolivia: The Civic Registry Service registered a same-sex couple’s domestic partnership for the second time. More info.
13 May | 🇨🇱 Chile: First meeting of the Working Group on LGBTIQA+ Rights, which brings together State officials and civil society organizations to identify priorities and develop public policies in the interest of LGBTIQA+ persons. More info.
16 May | 🇲🇽 Mexico:For the first time, two women were recognized as mothers to a child in Tlaxcala. More info.
18 May | 🇦🇷 Argentina: The Argentine National Census 2022 included, for the first time, a question about self-perceived gender identity. More info.
19 May | 🇧🇷 Brazil:A court recognized the gender identity and name of a trans woman after her death. More info.
30 May | 🇺🇸 USA: The New York State Government announced that an “X” gender marker will be available for drivers’ licenses, learners’ permits, and non-driver ID cards. More info.
30 May | 🇲🇽 Mexico: The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation declared unconstitutional provisions in the Civil Code of the State of Veracruz that prevented same-sex couples from marrying and registering their children. The Veracruz State Government modified its Civil Code in compliance with the Court’s ruling on June 13. More info.
02 & 07 Jun | 🇲🇽 Mexico: The Puebla and Hidalgo State Governments prohibited so-called “conversion therapy,” or attempts to modify or suppress an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. More info here and here.
15 Jun | 🇺🇸 USA: In honor of Pride Month, the President issued an Executive Order focused on protecting LGBTQI+ children and families. More info.
Trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse persons in the context of human mobility are subject to discrimination and violence
Trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse persons face discrimination and violence when traveling and exercising their right to freedom of movement. This is due to several factors, such as the impossibility of accessing documentation that adequately reflects their gender identity and expression. When there are discrepancies between these individuals’ documentation and their gender identity and expression, they run the risk of discrimination and violence, including from migration authorities who often lack knowledge about essential aspects of diversity, gender, and human rights.
The discriminatory treatment that many trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse persons receive when attempting to cross borders limits their movement. These restrictions on their movement in turn increase the prejudices and stereotypes that associate gender non-conformity with perceived “dangerousness.” They also impede trans, non-binary and gender-diverse activists’ access to forums in which they can advocate for human rights and raise awareness of the challenges that persist in the region.
Risks to the internationally recognized rights of families
IACHR notes that, in recent decisions, national courts have questioned the legal relevance of Advisory Opinion OC-24/17 and decisions of the Inter-American Court, mainly, when deciding cases concerning the equal right to marriage equality.
The Inter-American Court reiterated in its Advisory Opinion OC-24/17 that these interpretations have legal relevance for all OAS Member States. The IACHR calls on States to ensure that inter-American standards protecting the rights of LGBTI persons and families are observed in all domestic decisions.
Stigmatizing narratives against LGBTI persons
The IACHR warns about an increase in stigmatizing narratives that incite hatred, legitimize discrimination, or even incite prejudice-based violence against LGBTI persons, including human rights defenders and LGBTI artists. Violent rhetoric was reported across the region in the month of June as anti-LGBTI actors threatened Pride celebrations. In addition, bans on comprehensive sexuality education have moved forward in various countries.
The IACHR’s report on Violence against LGBTI Persons outlined State obligations to apply standards of due diligence to prevent, investigate, prosecute, punish, and provide reparation in cases of prejudice-based violence against LGBTI persons.
States must adopt preventive and educational measures to address and combat hate speech against LGBTI persons. When States do not take these measures, they send a message to society that violence against LGBTI persons is condoned and tolerated, thereby contributing to an environment of hostility and prejudice.
The situation of the rights of LGBTIQ+ children and families in Ecuador – 184 Period of Sessions | June 21, 2022. Watch the full hearing.
104/22: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: IACHR and International Experts Statement on Challenges Faced by Forcibly Displaced LGBTI Persons | May 16, 2022. Read more.
089/22: Lesbian Day of Visibility: States must adopt comprehensive measures to prevent violence based on prejudice against lesbians | April 26, 2022. Read more.
and Promotional Activities
05 Apr: The technical team conducted a training with Brazilian human rights defenders on the mechanisms of the Inter-American Human Rights System.
19-22 Apr: 🇵🇪 Promotional Visit to Peru: Commissioner Clarke and the technical team of the Rapporteurship participated in the “South American Subregional Workshop on the Recognition of Gender Identity: Civil Registry and Identification,” and also met with civil society.
25-29 Apr: 🇦🇷 Promotional visit to Argentina. President Julissa Mantilla and members of the Executive Secretariat met with State officials and human rights defenders working for the rights of LGBTI persons.
17 May: Commissioner Clarke gave a speech on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights during an online promotional activity with Peruvian civil society.
18-20 May: 🇭🇳 Promotional visit to Honduras. Commissioner Clarke spoke online at the Central American Forum on Human Rights, Sexual and Gender Diversity. Additionally, the technical team of the Rapporteurship conducted an in-person workshop for civil society and State officials on the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights.
02 Jun: Commissioner Clarke gave some opening remarks at a workshop for justice operators concerning a gender and diversity approach to justice and data.
13 Jun: The technical team of the Rapporteurship participated in a promotional event with Peruvian civil society concerning challenges in access to justice.
23 Jun: Commissioner Clarke spoke during the event “Breaking Down Prejudice: LGBTI Rights in the Americas,” organized by the Mission of Peru to the OAS, the OAS Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity, and Synergia – Initiatives for Human Rights.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in a total of 10 meetings with civil society organizations and human rights defenders. These meetings help the strategic work of the Rapporteurship. If you would like to request a meeting or training session with us, send an e-mail to: CIDHDenuncias@oas.org
The information presented in this newsletter corresponds to the period from April 1st to June 24th, 2022.
The Rapporteurship will continue to monitor the human rights situation of LGBTI persons in the region.