Hunter Carter Speaks at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
As founder of AMAmericas, the Alliance for Marriage in the Americas, a coalition of pro bono lawyers, Mr. Carter led the hearing and introduced leaders of LGBT organizations from Panama, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Mexico. The IACHR is part of the Organization of American States and its duty is to bring cases for human rights violations against OAS member states before the Inter-American Court for Human Rights. Although 80% of the population in the Americas lives where same sex couples can be married, four-fifths of the countries do not provide marriage equality, which was recognized a year ago by the Inter-American Court as a human right.
In his opening statement, Mr. Carter called this a historic moment, against the long and well known history of discrimination against LGBT people, where there is now hope, through action by the Commission, to help bring an end to state sponsored stigmatization as a result of which LGBT people are being murdered in the streets and municipal parks and are being denied jobs, housing, education, and health care. The representatives of each country described their governments’ rejections and delay tactics and the effect on LGBT people and their community. Members of the Commission, led by the President, Margarette May Macaulay from Jamaica, and Commissioner Flavia Piovesan of Brazil, Relator for LGBT Rights, declared their complete support and indicated Commission action is soon forthcoming.
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