Sunday, September 28, 2014

Global LGBT Rights Move Forward

The United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN's top human rights watchdog, has approved a resolution condemning & expressing "grave concern" about discrimination based on sexual orientation & gender identity. Brazil, Chile, Colombia & Uruguay were the countries that took leading roles in pushing for the resolution's passage. Jessica Stern, Executive Director of The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission stated, "The Human Rights Council has taken a fundamental step forward by reaffirming one of the United Nations' key principles--that everyone is equal in dignity & rights. This resolution puts the UN on a trajectory to address the discrimination & violence LGBT persons suffer daily across the world. The council is confirming that LGBT people have universal human rights. We know, of course, that the struggle is long, & that we will need the Council to focus on the violations we suffer for many years to come. But for now, we celebrate that the majority of States stood with us to declare, unequivocally, that human rights are for everyone, everywhere." The resolution passed on a vote of 25 to 14 with 7 abstentions. The votes largely broke down along geographic & religious lines, with most South American, European & North American nations voting in favor & most African & Middle Eastern countries, including homophobic U.S. allies like Pakistan & Saudi Arabia voting against.
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