Oppose Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity-Based Violence in Iraq 2009 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS the first and sixth Unitarian Universalist [UU] Principles affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, and the United Nations Charter reflects these values in its commitment to promote peace, prosperity, and dignity for all people; and

WHEREAS the Yogyakarta Principles apply international human rights law to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and reflect UU values; and

WHEREAS the responsibility to protect has not been implemented in areas such as Iraq, where over 400 known LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] people have already been murdered since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began, and on a daily basis people face human rights violations based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity which are perpetrated with impunity; and

WHEREAS the United States is now a member of the UN Human Rights Council, which is holding its Universal Periodic Review of the human rights record of Iraq in February 2010, and Secretary of State Clinton has committed to advancing a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on SOGI; and

WHEREAS under the Obama administration, the United States supports the UN General Assembly Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Human Rights; and

WHEREAS UUs are previously committed to ending the war and occupation in Iraq in the interest of peace and human rights,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2009 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association commit to raising awareness in their communities and pressuring the United States government to take a collaborative leadership role with the United Nations in protecting human rights for people in Iraq who are targeted because of their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates urge:

  • individual UUs to make efforts to raise awareness about the issue of human rights violations based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in Iraq;
  • the Unitarian Universalist Association, as the national organization representing the collective voice of American UUs, to direct a letter to President Obama and to Secretary of State Clinton expressing concern about these human rights violations;
  • congregations to pressure leadership in the U.S. government to raise these issues of human rights violations at the United Nations and to be sure that those efforts are not limited only to activities at the United Nations but shall be integrated into United States foreign non-military policy; and
  • congregations to engage in advocacy, including but not limited to organizing teach-ins, study groups, petitions, visiting congressional representatives, and inviting guest speakers about this issue, and also contacting Secretary of State Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice, imploring them to make sure that the United States is present at Iraq’s February 2010 Universal Periodic Review in order to voice concerns about these human rights violations.

This AIW [Action of Immediate Witness] should not be construed to authorize support for any military action by the United States or any additional delay of U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.