This follows news that a legislative committee recommended that such language be included in a new version of the Venezuelan constitution currently under consideration.
Both organizations also asked the committee to go a step further and allow "that same-sex couples be granted constitutional protection by modifying Article 77, which addresses marriage and civil unions" as has been previously requested by Venezuelan activists (see bottom of this post).
National Immigrant Justice Center takes over IGLHRC's LGBT asylum documentation program: In the meantime, in related news, word also came today that IGLHRC will no longer have a program that collects documentation that might aid LGBT immigrants seeking political asylum in the United States. Instead the program will be adopted by an immigrant rights agency.
A press release from the National Immigrant Justice Center, a project of the Heartland Alliance, based in Chicago, IL (which is not found on their website) says:
The National Immigrant Justice Center, a partner of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, provides direct legal services to and advocates for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education.Blabbeando will continue to work with Dusty in gathering information on persecution based on sexual orientation throughout Latin America as we have done in the past now that he is based at the National Immigrant Justice Center.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tara Tidwell Cullen
Ph: (312) 660-1337
National Immigrant Justice Center to Document Critical Evidence for LGBT and HIV-Positive Asylum Seekers
CHICAGO- October 15, 2007 - The Asylum Documentation Program has joined the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). The program, previously housed at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, collects and disseminates evidence to support cases of refugees seeking protection from human rights violations based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.
“The National Immigrant Justice Center is proud to take on this program,” said Jonathan Eoloff, coordinator of NIJC’s National Asylum Project on Sexual Orientation. “Corroborating evidence is often required to support an asylum case, so this documentation is critical for attorneys and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and HIV-positive refugees seeking protection in the United States and elsewhere.”
The Asylum Documentation Program will:
• Research, monitor and collect data and documentation regarding country conditions related to persecution against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and HIV-positive individuals.
• Partner with asylumlaw.org and other LGBT and immigrant services organizations to disseminate country conditions information internationally to support applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture protection for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants.
• Provide Know Your Rights manuals, pro bono attorney referral lists, and consultation to LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants who are detained throughout the United States by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
• Monitor detention conditions of ICE detention facilities that hold LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and track statistics about the LGBT and HIV-positive detention population.
The Asylum Documentation Program will be based in San Francisco, California. Dusty Aráujo will continue as the asylum documentation coordinator and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (415) 398-2759.