In order for universal human rights standards to be truly universal, every person, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, is entitled to the full enjoyment of all human rights; The use of criminal law, or proposals to use criminal law, against members of sexual minorities creates a legal and social environment that is discriminatory and violates the human rights endorsed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Supporting International Human Rights Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 28th General Synod
The first resolution passed Tuesday, titled “Supporting International Human Rights Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” focuses on “instances in which such abuse [of LGBT people] is not prohibited by law but rather legally, politically, socially or even religiously sanctioned” and was supported by ninety-eight percent of the Synod delegates. The Synod was addressed by three LGBT speakers from outside the United States: Ahmad Khafaja of Lebanon, Lindford Cunningham of Jamaica, and a woman who identified herself only as Champo, fearing retribution in Zambia. “What you’re doing isn’t going to be changing lives, it’s going to be saving lives,” she said. “When you have a bad day and are trying to figure out what you haven’t done right, this is something you’ve done right. Be proud of yourself.”The second resolution, “The Right of LGBT Persons to Adopt and Raise Children,” was unanimously accepted, and emphasized that nearly half a million children in the United States live in group or foster homes. “We need parents!” exclaimed a Synod delegate who was a former group home executive. The delegates also added an amendment to the proposed resolution before officially adopting it, which urged health and human services agencies affiliated with the UCC to approve adoption applications for all families. GLAAD commends the UCC, and continues to support the ever increasing affirmations of LGBT people by all religious institutions.