OutRight Action International formerly known as International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Human Rights For Everyone. Everywhere.

We’re going to the White House and we want to bring you with us!

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, for the first time, has been invited to the White House LGBT Pride Reception, but we don’t want to go alone!

Jessica Stern, Acting Executive Director, will attend the reception and she wants to bring your perspectives, opinions, critiques and stories with her.

For the next five days, we’ll be asking you questions on facebook ( and twitter (@iglhrc) such as: If you could tell President Obama one way he could help you work for LGBT rights globally, what would you say?

Continue reading “We’re going to the White House and we want to bring you with us!”

Argentina Adopts Landmark Legislation in Recognition of Gender Identity: It’s the ‘talk of the town’ from South Africa to Argentina, from the Philippines to the U.S.A.

Human rights advocates worldwide are celebrating the passage of the most progressive gender identity law in history in Argentina on May 9, 2012. The law gives self-identified transgender people access to critical services without the need for medical intervention and provides for specific human rights protections. Argentina’s Senate passed the law on May 9th with 55 votes in favor, one abstention and no votes against. Activists from around the world are talking about the passage of the legislation.  We’ve seen reactions  Argentinean activists directly involved with the work to activists in South Africa who are celebrating this new law. The following are a few we would like to share with you:

Jessica Stern, Acting Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) enthusiastically hailed the legislation:

“Argentina has set a new benchmark for protecting and recognizing the human rights of transgender individuals.  We owe this triumph to the efforts of courageous transgénero and travesti Argentineans and activists along with coalitions of allies. This work — carried out over many years, with sustained strength, careful strategy and diverse unity — is what has made this legislation a reality.  We congratulate all of our Argentinean colleagues.”

“All too often, transgender people are subject to violent hate crimes and denied education, housing, healthcare and employment,” Stern continued. “Governments around the world should follow Argentina’s lead and implement progressive legislation to protect the rights of trans people everywhere.”

Continue reading “Argentina Adopts Landmark Legislation in Recognition of Gender Identity: It’s the ‘talk of the town’ from South Africa to Argentina, from the Philippines to the U.S.A.”

Argentina ha aprobado la legislación de Identidad de Género más progresista de la existencia

Alejandro Nasif Salum, Secretario de Relaciones Internacionales – Federación Argentina LGBT, Docente Universitario, nos describe la ley nueva y los años muy largos de activismo coordinado que se logró con este proceso extraordinario.

Secretary of International Relations – Argentina LGBT Federation and  University Teacher, describes the new law and the years  long, coordinated effort of LGBT activists that led to this extraordinary progress.

En la noche del miércoles 9 de mayo el Congreso de la Nación Argentina sancionó la Ley de Identidad de Género y Atención Integral de la Salud para Personas Trans. Si bien es la primera vez que el Congreso reconoce los derechos de personas trans, la norma es probablemente la más avanzada del mundo en este sentido.

A partir de ahora, cualquier persona, sólo con la manifestación de su voluntad mediante una declaración jurada, podrá pedir en el registro civil la modificación de su sexo y nombre de pila en su documento de identidad y en su partida de nacimiento. A diferencia de lo que sucede en otros países, no necesitará de la intervención de ningún juez, ni de un diagnóstico médico, ni de testigos, ni tendrá que esperar un cierto plazo antes de que le concedan el cambio de documentación.

Continue reading “Argentina ha aprobado la legislación de Identidad de Género más progresista de la existencia”

Argentina Has Passed the Most Progressive Gender Identity Legislation in Existence

Alejandro Nasif Salum, Secretary of International Relations – Federación Argentina LGBT (Argentina LGBT Federation) and  University Teacher, describes the new law and the years  long, coordinated effort of LGBT activists that led to this extraordinary progress.

On the night of Wednesday, May 9th Congress of Argentina enacted the Gender Identity and Health Comprehensive Care for Trans People Act.  It is the first time that the Argentinean Congress fully recognizes the rights of trans people, and the rule is probably the most advanced in the world in this regard.

From now on, anyone, just by manifesting his or her will through an affidavit, may request in the Civil Registry the change of sex and name in his or her identity card and birth certificate. Unlike what happens in other countries, he or she will not need the intervention of any judge, or a medical diagnosis, or witnesses, or have to wait a certain period before being granted the change of documentation.

Moreover, both the public health system and private must ensure comprehensive health care for trans people, and will have to cover hormone treatments, sex reassignment surgery or any other treatment they need. There is no need of judicial intervention or diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” or a “gender identity disorder.” In this sense we could say that the Argentine State depathologized trans identities.

Even people under 18 can access the documentation modification or health treatments. Just in the case of gender reassignment surgery that Congress has requested the intervention of juvenile justice.

We understand that while some of these features are present in other legislation in the world, the law in Argentina is really the only one with all these advances at the same time and in a single act that deals comprehensively with the rights of trans people.

Continue reading “Argentina Has Passed the Most Progressive Gender Identity Legislation in Existence”

Julie Dorf, IGLHRC Founder, Analyzes the Global Impact of Obama’s Support for Gay Marriage

By Julie Dorf

As an LGBT rights advocate, I have experienced so many proud moments with our president. Our community in the United States can count a number of major achievements during President Obama’s tenure: an inclusive hate crimes law; the repeal of the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and the hugely important decision that the attorney general will longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

So when the rumors started buzzing Wednesday morning that Obama was about to announce his support for marriage equality, it was yet another exciting moment of tangible progress in our country and by our president. When I watched the ABC interview, I was most struck by the weight he gave to his conversations around the dinner table with his daughters, who themselves have friends with lesbian and gay parents. Obama acknowledged that his daughters’ perspectives have helped him evolve: “It wouldn’t even dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.”

Continue reading “Julie Dorf, IGLHRC Founder, Analyzes the Global Impact of Obama’s Support for Gay Marriage”

LGBT Report From The Peoples’ Forum In Phnom Penh, Cambodia

By Ging Cristobal

The Ninth Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum, (ACSC/APF), was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the close of March. ASEANis an intergovernmental network formed to establish economic, socio-cultural, and political cooperation as well as regional peace amongst members. The ten member states include: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The forum, which provides civil society activists a space to engage with their respective governments, included lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) issues for the second time this year. Ging Cristobal, Asia Project Coordinator for IGLHRC attended the forum for the second time around and shares about the experience.

The Struggle Continues for LGBTIQ Rights in the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum
For LGBTIQ activists the ninth convening of the Forum was an uphill climb compared to their first engagement last year. Fewer civil society organizations and individuals participated this year, as many were protesting the process of the Cambodia organizing committee. They claimed the Cambodian committee failed to be transparent in the organizing process and did not adequately consult with the regional committee. Allegedly, this affected not only how local organizers ran the convening but also hindered civil society groups and non-governmental organizations in other ASEAN countries from seeking funds to participate in the event.

Continue reading “LGBT Report From The Peoples’ Forum In Phnom Penh, Cambodia”

“Securing a Safe Place for All Liberians”

By Stephanie Horton and Cary Alan Johnson

This blog post first appearing in the Huffington Post »

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, recently expressed in an interview opposition to LGBT rights — specifically decriminalization — and was vague about support for increased criminal penalties for LGBT people, a shockwave was felt around the world. LGBT Liberians everywhere and all who have great respect for Sirleaf — a former political prisoner herself — were appalled and saddened. Such a narrow and discriminatory view from a revered and world-honored leader is unfathomable.

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Thai Police Dismiss Murders of 15 Lesbians and ‘Toms’ As ‘Love Gone Sour’

grace poore

By Grace Poore

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post »

On Feb. 24, 2012 in Loei province, Thailand, a 14-year-old girl reported to police that her 38-year-old father, who had sole custody of her since 2008, had been raping her continuously for four years because she “liked to hang out with toms” and wouldn’t listen to his instructions to stay away from them. She told police that the most recent rape had been on Feb. 11, 2012.

On Jan. 15, 2009 in Chiang Mai province, 17-year-old Orn-uma Wongprachit and her tomboy partner, 17-year-old Marisa Srisawa, were found dead. They had been stabbed over 60 times. Orn and Marisa worked at a karaoke bar to support their families. Police said they were killed by a man who was “attracted to one of the women and felt disdainful of the lesbian relationship.”
Continue reading “Thai Police Dismiss Murders of 15 Lesbians and ‘Toms’ As ‘Love Gone Sour’”

Gay Rights Are Human Rights: Advancing LGBT Protections At The UN

By Peter Dunne

This article originally appeared in the New Civil Rights Movement »

At the United Nations Human Rights Council March 2012 meeting in Geneva, an expert panel was convened to discuss the first-ever UN report focused on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity: “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity,” ( A.HRC.19.41.)

The document, published by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the close of 2011, identified widespread and systematic rights violations that LGBT individuals are subject to around the world. Given that less than ten years ago much of the UN was silent on even the most extreme atrocities committed against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, this event represents a truly historic moment.
Continue reading “Gay Rights Are Human Rights: Advancing LGBT Protections At The UN”

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