Get Ready to Celebrate LGBT Pride Month!

amnesty_activistsBy Emily McGranachan, Member of Amnesty International USA’s LGBT Human Rights Coordinating Group

It’s almost time to get out your boa, rainbow sunglasses, and camera, and download Amnesty International USA’s 2013 Pride Tool Kit for activists! Pride season will soon be upon us in June. Whether you prefer to celebrate at home with an informative documentary or by marching through the streets completely covered in body paint, it is an excellent opportunity to reflect on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights. That’s the beauty of LGBT Pride Month. It is a time to celebrate who you are, ally or activist, homebody or exhibitionist.

Pride events are primarily a place where LGBT communities celebrate who they are and create positive visibility for a community that has suffered greatly under a cloak of invisibility. Some events feature over-the-top parade floats, drag costumes, dance, music and great festivities.

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Federal Court’s Marriage Equality Ruling: A Victory for LGBT Rights

© Getty Images

On Thursday a U.S. federal appeals court in Boston struck down the provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, in a ruling that is a victory for both marriage equality and for human rights.

The court’s decision, which will not go into effect immediately, paves the way for the Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of DOMA as early as next year.

“Congress’ denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest,” wrote Judge Michael Boudin in the ruling. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Amnesty Activism at Work: Dump DOMA!

Amnesty International activists take part in Gay Pride in Paris

On Tuesday, Amnesty International staff delivered the signatures of Amnesty activists and supporters to the U.S. Senate urging them to repeal DOMA and end discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

DOMA – or the “Defense of Marriage Act” – is a discriminatory law that denies lawfully married same-sex couples the right to access federal protections and benefits.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) which would repeal DOMA and take an important step towards ending discrimination against same-sex couples.  Amnesty International submitted a letter of support for the Act and delivered the petitions directly to the Committee to show our support!

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Take Pride in the Latest UN Resolution

Amnesty International activists take part in Gay Pride in Paris, 28 June 2008.

This past Friday, June 17th, was a remarkable day for the advancement of international lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the first ever UN resolution on the human rights of LGBT persons.

All people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, enjoy the full range of human rights, without exception. But all too often across the globe LGBT people are targets of discrimination and horrific acts of violence.

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity continually leads to abuse in the form of violence, imprisonment, torture, or even execution. These methods of persecution, which include criminalization in many places, violate the human rights of LGBT people.

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Human Rights Don't Discriminate: Join Us For Pride Month

Amnesty International activists take part in Gay Pride in Paris

Join us in celebrating Pride Month this June by standing up for LGBT rights!

Pride Month is the annual commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots where courageous members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community stood up to police brutality and discrimination at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. This resistance galvanized the LGBT community and gave birth to the modern LGBT rights movement.

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Celebrate Pride Month

EuroPride Parade, Stockholm, Sweden. © AI

Communities began recognizing June as Pride Awareness Month in 1969 when members of the LGBT community instigated a riot in response to police brutality aimed at LGBT people at a gay bar in New York City.

This refusal to sit silently in the face of regular, discriminatory abuse helped galvanize the LGBT community and their allies across the United States, giving birth to the modern LGBT rights movement.

Join us this month as we shine a light on LGBT cases around the world and further the cause of equality and human rights for all. Take action right now:

  1. Encourage the president of Mexico to extend the right to marry to all Mexican residents»
  2. Call on the Iraqi government to investigate the murders of Iraqi gay men»
  3. Take more actions to protect human rights during Pride Month»