The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly established that the principles of non-discrimination, equality before the law, the right to life, dignity and personal integrity are founding principles of the regional and universal human rights system, with legal duties that are of particular importance to LGBTI person in the region.
Snapshot of the situation of the rights of LGBTI persons in the region
🇦🇷 Argentina: April 19th, 2023. In a historic hearing in search of memory, truth, and justice, five trans women who were victims of state terrorism testified in the “Brigadas” trial.
🇧🇧 Barbados: On 28 June 2023, Barbadoshosted its third LGBTQ parade to celebrate Pride Month. In May, the Supreme Court published a decision from December 2022, in which it declares the criminalization of same-sex relations between consenting adults unconstitutional.
🇧🇷 Brazil: 1 May 19, 2023, The Government approved a simplified procedure for the processing of refugee requests for LGBTQIA+ persons from countries that apply the death penalty or imprisonment to them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The IACHR welcomed such a decision.
🇨🇦 Canada: June 5, 2023. the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced up to $1.5 million to administer an emergency fund to help pride organizations cover the increasing security costs at Pride events.
🇨🇴 Colombia: July 27, 2023. For the first time, the Jurisdiction for Peace charges a crime against humanity because of persecution based on gender. among the victims in the resolution of a macro case, nine women and one LGBTIQ+ person were identified, this being the first time that the Jurisdiction charges a crime against humanity with persecution for reasons of gender.
🇭🇳 Honduras: June 27, 2023. The organization Cattrachas in conjunction with SEDESOL presented the Vicky Hernández Educational Scholarship, as an act of reparation and tribute to Vicky and all trans people in Honduras.
🇻🇨 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: June 8, 2023, Equal Rights, Access and Opportunities SVG Inc. (ERAO SVG), collaborated with the British High Commission to host a historic Pride SVG Lunch Reception. It also held several activities throughout the month, marking the first time Vincentians publicly celebrated LGBT Pride Month.
🇺🇸 United States of America: On May 12, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously sided with a trans refugee, affirming her identity in a historic ruling. On June 5th, a Federal judge rejected the Tennessee drag show ban as unconstitutional.
🇻🇪 Venezuela: June 16, 2023, the lawyer and former deputy Tamara Adrián presented her candidacy to the internal opposition elections, making history in Venezuela as the first trans person to ever register for a presidential race.
Criminalization of same-sex relations
The IACHR continue to observe that several States in the region still criminalize private consensual same-sex relations amongst adults. The IACHR reiterates that the criminalization of of LGBTI persons violates the principle of equality and non-discrimination, as well as the right to privacy. These laws contribute to a hostile environment that tolerates and even condones discrimination, stigmatization, and violence against LGBTI persons.
The IACHR calls on all the States in the Americas to repeal laws and de facto practices that criminalize consensual sexual relations between adults or allow for the prosecution of LGBTI persons in any other
form. States must also take positive action to create a legal framework to protect LGBTI persons from all forms of discrimination.
Stigmatizing speech and bans on access to information and freedom of expression
The IACHR is concerned about information indicating high levels of stigmatizing speech against LGBTI persons in the region specially in social media. At the same time, it notes that in various countries there is a general lack of content aimed at raising awareness and education about sexual diversity and in others there are prohibitions for its inclusion in formal school education programs. This imposes barriers to access to information and training in human rights.
The IACHR carried out an on-site visit to Honduras over the period of April 24 – 28 and amongst other things, met with LGBTI activists and human rights defenders.
The Office of the Rapporteur participated in several meetings with civil society organizations and human rights defenders. If you would like to request a meeting or training session with us, send an e-mail to: [email protected]
The information presented in this newsletter corresponds to the period from April 1 to July 30, 2023.
The Rapporteurship will continue to monitor the human rights situation of LGBTI persons in the region.