United States: US Presidential Election Reaction from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Statement of Paula Ettelbrick, executive director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

Contact Info: Paula Ettelbrick +1 212 216 1256

"If the last four years is a guide, the result of this election will have disastrous consequences not only for LGBT people in the US, but around the world. Over the last four years, the Bush Administration has built undeniable alliances with the Vatican and the Organization of Islamic Conferences to fight any effort in the world to recognize the basic human rights of LGBT people. Together, this unholy alliance has waged a vicious battle against the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in the United Nations Human Rights Commission which, if passed, would call on nations around the world to refrain from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Together, this alliance has openly threatened governments inclined to support our basic human rights. The Bush Administration has exported its "faith-based initiatives" around the world, requiring adherence to abstinence only and other fundamentalist values as conditions for receiving HIV prevention funds, particularly in Africa. It has required that any clinic, social service program or other agency that receives international development funds from the US pledge that it will not use any of its funding - whether from the US or private foundations - toward work with or outreach to sex workers - a mandate with terrible consequences, especially, for many transgender people around the world for whom there are currently very few other economic opportunities.

Instead of promoting democratic values abroad, the Bush Administration has done nothing but promote religious values. Instead of standing up for equality and freedom, Bush has retaliated against any who dare to speak up. Instead of using our country's economic power to move the world toward greater adherence to basic human rights principles, the Administration has given cover to every petty dictator and repressive government to crack down on our community. If it weren't such a frightening display of the nasty lengths the Administration will go to retain power, Bush's targeting of gay people who simply want to live, work and love would be merely pathetic. IGLHRC will continue to work with LGBT activists around the world to build its voice for freedom, and look to the US community to join with the global response over the next four years."