Obama State Department 'Stands in Solidarity With Intersex Persons Around the World'

By Susan Jones | October 26, 2016 | 9:20 AM EDT

 

(CNSNews.com) - "On the occasion of Intersex Awareness Day, the United States stands in solidarity with intersex persons around the world," the U.S. State Department announced in a press statement on Wednesday.

"We recognize that intersex persons face violence, discrimination, stigma, harassment, and persecution on account of their sex characteristics, which do not fit binary notions of typical male or female bodies."

According to the American Psychological Association, intersex conditions include the atypical development of physical sex characteristics, such as genitals that cannot be easily classified as male or female; incomplete development of the internal reproductive organs; or abnormalities of sex chromosomes.

The State Department notes that intersex people routinely face forced medical surgeries that are conducted at a young age without informed consent. "These interventions jeopardize their physical integrity and ability to live free," said the announcement.

"The United States is a proud and founding member of the Equal Rights Coalition, a recently established Coalition of 31 governments that aims to “strengthen cooperation to advance the human rights of, and support inclusive development for all persons regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. We hope this Coalition will work to share best practices and to jointly address challenges in support of the human rights of intersex persons."

The U.S. also participates in the Global Equality Fund, launched in 2011, which aims to "mobilize and organize" the intersex community.

"On Intersex Awareness Day, we are reminded that all people everywhere are created equal and should be afforded equal dignity and respect, regardless of sex characteristics," the State Department said. "We look forward to continued cooperation with civil society, like-minded governments, and others to advance the human rights of intersex persons."

According to the Intersex Society of North America, about 1 in 1,500-2,000 babies are born with genitalia that is so atypical that a specialist is consulted. "But a lot more people than that are born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations, some of which won’t show up until later in life," the Society says.