Human Rights Council Addresses Discrimination That ‘Perceives Contradiction’ Between Freedom of Faith, Violation of LGBT Rights

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The Human Rights Council discusses discrimination based on the perception of a contradiction between the right to freedom of religion and the invasion of LGBT rights. It states that the freedom of faith was frequently exploited to harm the rights of members of the LGBT community.

Contradictions Between Freedom of Faith and Violation of LGBT Rights

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a UN Expert on protection against violence and discrimination, stated that during the presentation of his most recent report to the Human Rights Council's 53rd Session on Wednesday, Jun 21, acts of violence, discrimination, and marginalization could have severe and detrimental effects on the humanity, dignity, and spirituality of LGBT individuals. As per the United Nations of Human Rights, Madrigal-Borloz asserted that in social and political discussions, religion or belief traditions are frequently and intentionally positioned in adversarial stances against the human rights of LGBT individuals. It reportedly feeds the claim that there is a fundamental discrepancy between them.

The UN expert also emphasized that the fundamental right to freedom of belief or belief should not be employed as a justification for aggression or prejudiced rejection of the human rights of members of the LGBT community. According to Madrigal-Borloz, embracing one's spirituality and faith is a route that should be accessible to everyone, including those of varying sexual preferences and different gender identities. 

On the other hand, in response to the expert's call for inputs, he acquired many submissions that raised concerns regarding religious or belief executives sustaining misinformation and hatred against LGBT individuals. These inputs raised issues such as religious leaders scapegoating LGBT individuals for controversies, portraying LGBT individuals as an imminent danger to the conventional family and translating religious doctrines to discourage and encourage acts of violence and prejudice against homosexuality and gender irregularities.

Based on a report from FSSPX News, Madrigal-Berlioz continues by stating that exploratory data reveals that many of the anti-LGBT views surfacing today in particular streams of religious belief systems are relatively recent. He rejoices that even among these religious traditions, several religions in modern times have welcomed LGBT identities and considered liberation from SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) based violence and discrimination as an essential component of their spiritual tradition.

The final report's objective would be to present legal and policy components that demonstrate how LGBT rights and freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) connect. Additionally, it will provide suggestions for governments and other participants to strictly comply with their commitments under international human rights law to safeguard and enable LGBT people to find happiness and to exercise and benefit from all of their human rights. 

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About Victor Madrigal-Borloz

In the Human Rights Program at the Harvard Law School, Victor Madrigal-Borloz currently serves as both a Lecturer on Law and the Eleanor Roosevelt Senior Visiting Researcher (2019–2023). Moreover, he was given the position of UN Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity by the United Nations Human Rights Council in late 2017. His term began on Jan 1, 2018, and was extended for another three years in 2020. 

In this role, Madrigal-Borloz evaluates how the global human rights framework is being implemented, works to increase public understanding of the issue, and engages in discourse with every interested party. He reportedly offers consulting services, technical assistance, and capacity-building programs to address violence and discrimination directed toward individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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