the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement  by the Press Secretary on Ending Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

President Obama believes that advancing the human rights of minorities and the marginalized is a fundamental American value. The President was pleased to announce during his trip to Brazil that he and President Rousseff agreed to promote respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals through the establishment of a special rapporteur on LGBT issues at the Organization of American States.  This special rapporteur will be the first of its kind in the international system.

Over the past months our diplomats have been engaged in frank, and at times difficult, conversations about the human rights of LGBT persons with governments from around world. This morning, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, some 85 countries joined the United States in reaffirming our joint commitment to end acts of violence and human rights abuses on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  The President is proud of the work we have done to build international consensus on this critical issue and is committed to continuing our determined efforts to advance the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.