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ACLU Supports Anti-Death Penalty Pledge

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March 29, 2011

Yesterday, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) committee issued a statement against the death penalty in all circumstances, stating in part:

The IDAHO Committee opposes categorically any form of death penalty in all circumstances and calls upon States and institutions to abolish all forms of capital punishment and instead to make every effort to ensure the right to life of all citizens, including all the men and women who are victims of assassinations, extrajudicial executions and other forms of violence and abuse, which the existence of the death penalty implicitly supports.

The ACLU applauds IDAHO’s strong, unequivocal statement against the death penalty in all circumstances and commends the committee for their strong stance in favor of human rights for all people. Yesterday, the ACLU of California summed it up for the organization:

The death penalty has been used as a tool of governments around the world to oppress the powerless and the unpopular, including LGBT people…To ensure that the human rights of all people are respected, we must work together to eliminate the death penalty and to ensure that LGBT people are afforded dignity and equality, worldwide.

The ACLU’s LGBT Project fights discrimination across a spectrum of issues, including fighting government policies that unfairly discriminate against LGBT people. In this case, IDAHO’s statement spoke even more forcefully to colleagues in our Capital Punishment Project, who are dedicated to abolishing capital punishment in the United States, and in the Human Rights Program, who work to ensure that the U.S. government complies with universal human rights principles.

In an encouraging development, earlier this month, State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh said to the United Nations Human Rights Council: “To those who desire as a matter of policy to end capital punishment in the United States — and I count myself among those — I note the decision made by the government of Illinois on March 9 to abolish that state’s death penalty.”

Learn more about what you can do on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, on their website.

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