Current Affairs

Trump administration refuses to sign Americas statement in support of equal marriage

Nick Duffy February 1, 2018
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US President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address as US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) look on in the chamber of the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Win McNamee (Photo credit should read WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty Images)

Seven countries across the Americas have signed a statement in support of equal marriage – but the US refused to take part.

Earlier this month, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights paved the way for equal marriage across 16 countries when it found same-sex marriage to be a human right.

The court had found Costa Rica is in violation of its treaty obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) by not providing marriage equality, or providing legal options for transgender people to change their gender marker on identity documents.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Israel's Prime Minister on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on January 25, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Since the ruling, seven of the eight countries in the Organization of American States (OAS) LGBTI Core Group signed on to a statement supporting the court’s opinion – but the United States declined to do so.

The seven nations that signed the statement are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.

The United States was the only member of the OAS LGBTI Core Group not to sign the statement welcoming the news.

Chile, which does not yet have marriage equality, signed the statement – but the Trump administration refused to do so.

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump listens to a speaker during a working dinner with European business leaders during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on January 25, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Ty Cobb, director of Human Rights Campaign Global said: “The Trump-Pence administration’s refusal to sign this statement in support of marriage equality and transgender rights is deeply troubling.

“As the administration unleashes a torrent of attacks on the LGBTQ community here at home, it is also abandoning LGBTQ people around the world. We are in desperate need of leadership that will advance America’s commitment to LGBTQ human rights in the U.S. and abroad.”

The statement says: “Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay, as members of the OAS LGBTI Core Group, welcome the Advisory Opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights reiterating that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected categories under the American Convention on Human Rights and affirming that States have the responsibility to recognize, guarantee and protect the rights that derive from a family bond between persons of the same sex.

“The Court’s Opinion constitutes a valuable contribution to the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights System, as it reminds States of their obligations regarding guaranteeing and protecting the rights of LGBTI persons across the region.

“Furthermore, the Court understood that a person’s full autonomy to establish a permanent and marital bond is derived from the principle of human dignity, and that such a bond deserves equal rights and protection regardless of the sexual orientation of the parties.

U.S. President Donald Trump (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

“Likewise, the Advisory Opinion reaffirms the rights of transgender people by affirming that the change of name, image adjustment, as well as the rectification of sex or gender references, in registers and in identity documents so that these are consistent with self-perceived gender identity, is a right protected by the American Convention. As a consequence, States are obliged to recognize, regulate and establish the appropriate procedures for such purposes.

“Without prejudice to the sovereign right of all States to adopt policies and legislation in a progressive manner and to evolve on this matter at their own pace, we agree with the Court’s view that lack of consensus on respecting the rights of certain groups that are characterized by their sexual orientation or their gender identity or expression cannot be considered a reason to deny or restrict their human rights or perpetuate historical or structural discrimination against them.

“The afore-mentioned members of the Core Group are optimistic that this Advisory Opinion will provide elements for States to drive legislative, administrative and public policy reforms through which progress is made in the protection and guarantee, under equal conditions, of the rights of LGBTI people.”

More: Americas, Donald Trump, equal marriage, Government, LGBT, same sex marriage, statement, Trump, US, US

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