Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Source The United Nations


Media – The United Nations Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, today (30 Aug) said that while “enormous progress” has been achieved in the past 50 years, “equality is not yet within reach, and in many cases not within sight of LGBT communities and populations in the United States.”

The Independent Expert conducted an official visit the United States from 16 to 29 August to assess the implementation of human rights standards to combat violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse (LGBT) people in the country.

Talking to reporters in New York said, “the LGBT population has, for example, lower outcomes in health, lower outcomes in housing amongst young adults aged 18 to 25, LGBT people have a 2.2 times greater risk of homelessness, 23 percent of LGBT adults of colour have no form of health coverage, and in a recent study, 43 percent of LGB – that’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual participants – reporting having suffered at least one act of discrimination or harassment. It was reported to me that the percentage of lesbian bisexual and queer women that is incarcerated is 10 times higher than the general population.”

Turning to the monkeypox public health emergency, Madrigal-Borloz said, “98 percent of cases in the are in the population of men who have sex with men. And this of course concerns me greatly because it creates a risk of furthering and retrenchment of stigma and discrimination against this population and should also guide public policy in this connection,” and expressed concern “in what consists for example, asymmetries in vaccine access, in particular population of men, populations, that men that have sex with men, in particular, black gay men.”

The Independent Expert said, “the reversal of Roe versus Wade by the United States Supreme Court, that is a regression that is impacting women’s health and life, but it is also a devastating action for lesbian, bisexual women, trans women and other persons with gestational faculties because it is members of these communities that actually suffer also disproportionately from unwanted teen pregnancies. They also require statistically more abortions, and LGBT persons in general actually benefit enormously from the services concerning sexual and reproductive health provided by abortion providers in different states, and the closure of the centres will impact disproportionately these persons.”

He said he was “extremely concerned” about a “concerted series of actions at state level, both legislative and administrative, that tend to base on prejudice and stigma, to attack and to roll back the rights of LGBT persons.”

Asked about examples of good practices elsewhere in the world, Madrigal-Borloz said Argentina and Uruguay “have the most sophisticated legislation in the world when it comes to gender identity.”

He said, “access to legal recognition of gender identity that is simple, that it administrative, that is fast, and they also have programs providing for example, social integration and employment, including quotas for trans persons in official institutions.”

Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in late 2017. His initial three-year term started on 1 January 2018. He is the second Independent Expert to serve in this capacity.

Credit UN Photo/Manuel Elías


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