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LGBT RIGHTS AS HUMAN RIGHTS.

A look at the current situation. 

Lusiana Maggiore (@uglylusiana)



Talking about family, it is only natural for us to come across the right for LGBT families to be recognized legally as such, in their rights and duties. It is important to underline the fact that the current worldwide situation counts 76 countries which consider same-sex relationships as illegal, and 7 of which punish them with death penalty.






The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not explicitly refers to sexual orientation or gender identity but it is common sense to consider LGBT rights a matter of human rights. In fact, analyzing the limitless list of abuses that LGBT people can face, we count many actions by States which disrespect and disregard the principles of the declaration.

The most important human rights conventions don't contain specific prohibitions of discrimination based on sexual orientation basically because those were all drafted way before the international community started considering LGBT rights important enough to be discussed. But, in time, the courts of such declarations and conventions have decided that prohibiting discriminations based on 'other status', which discriminating based on sexual orientation falls under, must be seen as part of these conventions and declarations. This comes from judgments by the most important human rights courts and instances in the world, e.g. ECtHR (European Court of Human Rights), ECJ (European Court of Justice) and UNCHR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and thus that means that discriminating, penalizing and criminalizing someone for their sexual orientation is a violation of human rights.

UNITED NATIONS


Since its founding in 1945, United Nations had never discussed sexual orientation and sexual identity issues till 2008, when Netherlands and France, backed by the European Union, submitted a statement in support of LGBT rights to the General Assembly. It was opposed by the Arab League and both, pro and against, statements remain open to signature, either one has been adopted by the Assembly yet.

THE BATTLE FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN COURTS


In the USA, the steps for complete marriage equality are being written in courts. For example, the organization “Freedom to Marry”, partnering with individuals and other organizations working on LGBT rights, works on the extending the number of States licensing same-sex marriages, creating and supporting  cases in Supreme Courts.

Exactly 10 years ago, in 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriages but the road, since then, has not been easy and fast. A considerable push to freedom has been given on May, 9th 2012, when USA president Barack Obama publicly declared his support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The same year, Maine, Maryland and Washington declared LGBT marriage legal through vote.

The current situation counts (as of November 12, 2014) 33 American states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) and the District of Columbia permit both issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

At the moment we count 16 states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, not even licensed in other jurisdictions.

DREAMS FOR A FUTURE OF EQUALITY


The road to a worldwide recognition of same-sex marriages and LGBT sexual orientation and identity rights is still long and difficult but many steps have been taken, though. The obvious increase in number of people actively supporting the cause is a fundamental sign of the great job that has already been done and the improving chances for the future.

An issue that not long ago was a delicate matter is now talked about and discussed about. LGBT rights are now finally considered as to be a battle not only for the LGBT community to fight, it is a matter of human rights and we are all humans with the moral duty to take action.



SOURCES


•    Same-sex marriage in the USA, wikipedia resume article;
•    Same-sex marriage, wikipedia resuming article;
•    NOH8 Campaign Official site;
•    Freedom to Marry Official site;
•    Amnesty International Official Site.

A big THANK YOU to Feather of Hope team member @Diejj for beta editing and for acting as International Law consultant for this article.

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