Adam Romero, an Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law and Senior Counsel at UCLA’s Williams Institute, told the State Department on July 8 that “U.S. is failing to comply with international human rights standards in relation to LGBT people.”

And that’s a pretty big deal.

“Addressing documented discrimination in the United States is critical to the United States’ credibility on international human rights issues,” said Andrew Park, director of International Programs at the Williams Institute and co-author of the Williams Institute’s statement presented by Romero.

The failure is a result of assessing the U.S.’s response to suggestions it got in 2010 from the United Nations Human Rights Counsel. In writing, the U.S. accepted the following three recommendations:

  • Recommendation 86. Undertake awareness-raising campaigns for combating stereotypes and violence against LGBT people, and ensure access to public services paying attention to the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses.
  • Recommendation 112. Take measures to comprehensively address discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Recommendation 116. Continue its intense efforts to undertake all necessary measures to ensure fair and equal treatment of all persons, without regard to sex, race, religion, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, and encourage further steps in this regard.

Even though the U.S. has made significant federal progress recently, “a majority of states fail to provide legal protections for LGBT people and families, despite evidence of persistent and pervasive discrimination, economic vulnerability, and violence and sexual assault,” according to the Williams Institute.

Here are some statistics it references:

  • Research shows that 37 percent of lesbian and gay workers and 90 percent of transgender workers continue to face workplace discrimination. Because U.S. law does not include a prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, it is not in compliance with international human rights standards.
  • Census data shows that LGBT people, particularly people of color, face higher rates of poverty. International standards concerning race discrimination require the government to combat discrimination that threatens the health and wellbeing of LGBT people.
  • Surveys of LGBT people show that survivors of violence continue to face mistreatment by police when seeking assistance from them. Police officers should receive more training and support about how to appropriately respond to LGBT people.
  • LGBT people in detention, particularly transgender people, face high rates of violence and sexual assault. The government should ensure the human right to safety and health for those in detention.

Full document can be downloaded here.