Article 16: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Did you know that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees that everyone has the right to marry?

Article 16 
  1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

And did you know that when someone suffers discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, that several other articles of the Declaration of Human Rights come into question: Rights abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity include the violation of the rights of the child; the infliction of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; arbitrary detention on grounds of identity or beliefs; the restriction of freedom of association and basic rights of due process.

amnesty

From Amnesty International: 

Everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity. When someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity does not conform to the majority, they are often seen as a legitimate target for discrimination or abuse. 

All people should be able to enjoy all the human rights described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet millions of people across the globe face execution, imprisonment, torture, violence and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The range of abuses is limitless:

  • women raped to “cure” their lesbianism, sometimes at the behest of their parents;
  • individuals prosecuted because their private and consensual relationship is deemed to be a social danger;
  • loss of custody of their children;
  • individuals beaten by police;
  • attacked, sometimes killed, on the street – a victim of a “hate crime”;
  • regular subjection to verbal abuse;
  • bullying at school;
  • denial of employment, housing or health services;
  • denial of asylum when they do manage to flee abuse;
  • raped and otherwise tortured in detention;
  • threatened for campaigning for their human rights;
  • driven to suicide;
  • executed by the state.

These are violations which have for decades formed the core of the agenda of international human rights law and the United Nations’ (UN) human rights machinery. 

Which of these abuses are commonplace in the United States? 

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