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Obama’s Signing of UN Statement a Win for LGBT Equality

Pelavin:“We are hopeful that last week’s actions by the Obama Administration signal a new US commitment to protect the basic rights and dignities of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jason Fenster
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2009 – In response to President Obama’s signing of the United Nations Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

We applaud the Obama Administration’s decision to sign the UN Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity. This declaration, signed by President Obama on March 18th, is nonbinding but indicates strong international opposition to the criminalization of homosexuality and condemns human rights abuses on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Though we were deeply troubled by the Bush Administration’s decision not to sign the Statement, we are hopeful that last week’s actions by the Obama Administration signal a new US commitment to protect the basic rights and dignities of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

All people created in the image of God and are worthy of love and respect.  We hope that leadership from the 66 other international signatories the United States now joins will help change attitudes and advance equal rights for the LGBT community across the world.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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