Privacy and Family

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international treaties specify that everyone has a right to privacy. This right is usually taken to include the right to have one’s family life protected and to make decisions about one’s own body. But those who challenge sexual and gender norms regularly experience violations of this right—ranging from being forced into heterosexual marriage to being prohibited from cohabiting with a same-sex partner. Sometimes the specter of same-sex marriage is used as an excuse for persecution, such as when police arrest partygoers on the pretext that they are participating in a same-sex wedding or when legislators write punitive legislation to outlaw the very possibility of same-sex marriage. Together with our partners, we work to hold governments accountable for violations of the right to privacy for people whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression differs from dominant norms.