Washington (October 31, 2017) - A bipartisan resolution (S.Res.211) introduced by U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Pat Toomey (D-Pa.) condemning Chechen officials’ torture, murder, and call for so-called “honor killings” of men who are, or are suspected of being, gay was approved by the Senate last night.
According to news reports, Chechen authorities have abducted, beaten, tortured, and—in at least three cases—killed men because they are believed to be gay. Chechen officials have also encouraged families to conduct “honor killings” of gay or bisexual individuals, stating “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”
The Toomey-Markey resolution, which is co-sponsored by 46 Republican and Democratic senators, urges an immediate end to the persecution and calls on Chechnya and Russia to investigate the violence, punish the perpetrators, and protect the human rights of all citizens. A companion measure also passed the U.S. House earlier this year.
“The American people stand united with Chechnya’s LGBTQ community, who continue to be victims of murderous treatment at the hands of Chechen officials who govern under the authority of Russia,” said Senator Markey. “The United States will not stop its call for an end to these inhumane actions or for accountability for denial of basic rights to anyone for whom they are or whom they love. I am proud to have co-sponsored this important human rights legislation with Senator Toomey and colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
“The actions taken by Chechen authorities against gay men are cowardly, abhorrent, and constitute a serious human rights violation,” said Senator Toomey. “It’s well past time for Russia to step in and ensure ‘honor killings’ end. I appreciate Senator Markey and my colleagues for their support of this measure.”