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COLUMN: Amnesty International and the LGBTQ Community


Groups, services and countless activists, allies and other supporters are fighting for justice around the world in efforts to bring attention to the daily abuses against LGBTQ citizens.

Then, there are those who are determined to squash any attempts that would support equal rights, equal treatment, equal opportunity and equal marriage.

Then, there are those who are determined to squash any attempts that would support equal rights, equal treatment, equal opportunity and equal marriage.

Putin, Museveni, Assad and many other leaders staunchly defend the old guard of conservatism and turn a blind eye to any abuse against members of the LGBTQ community. President Trump has yet to make it known who else he may attack, outside the Muslim community.

Right wing religious domination remains a roadblock to acceptance and indeed promotes exclusion. An outstanding organization that is at work, Amnesty International, is consistent in bringing attention to the ill treatment of millions of citizens around the globe, including LGBTQ people.

New Glasgow, N.S., resident and this province’s fieldworker for Amnesty International, Gail Clark, brings our attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights; everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property birth or other status.”

Clark directs us to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the following statement: “The protection of people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity does not require the creation of new rights or special rights for LGBTQ people. Rather, it requires enforcement of the universally applicable guarantee of non-discrimination in the enjoyment of all rights.” Further to this: “All people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including, but not limited to, the rights to life, security of person and privacy; the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention; the right to be free from discrimination and equality before the law; the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; the right to marry and found a family, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

“Amnesty International believes that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity should be able to enjoy the full range of human rights, without exception. Every day around the globe sexual orientation or gender identity leads to abuse in the form of discriminatory violence, imprisonment, torture, or even execution. Persecution on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity can take a variety of forms and these contravene the basic tenets of international human rights laws.”

It further states: “By highlighting instances of abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, Amnesty activists work to protest the basic dignity of LGBTQ people.”

Gail Clark points to the ongoing abuses that occur daily in this world and Amnesty International works diligently to bring these abuses to light and consequently the abusers are taken to task. It is a never-ending struggle that promises to continue, but with the forces at work we see a glimmer of hope and we look for the day when human rights will someday be the rights for all human kind.

Kudos to Amnesty International and to committed activists such as Gail Clark.

lgbtconnectionsgv@gmail.com

 

Gerard Veldhoven is a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. His column appears Wednesdays in The News.

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