Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

World U.N. Gay Rights Protection Resolution Passes, Hailed As 'Historic Moment'

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Contributor

    Jan 7, 2005
    Likes Received:
    June 17, 2011

    U.N. Gay Rights Protection Resolution Passes, Hailed As 'Historic Moment'

    FRANK JORDANS 06/17/11 03:38 PM ET

    GENEVA — The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever Friday, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. and other backers and decried by African and Muslim countries.

    The declaration was cautiously worded, expressing "grave concern" about abuses because of sexual orientation and commissioning a global report on discrimination against gays.

    But activists called it an important shift on an issue that has divided the global body for decades, and they credited the Obama administration's push for gay rights at home and abroad.

    "This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement.

    Following tense negotiations, members of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favor of the declaration put forward by South Africa, with 23 votes in favor and 19 against.

    Backers included the U.S., the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries. Those against included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. China, Burkina Faso and Zambia abstained, Kyrgyzstan didn't vote and Libya was suspended from the rights body earlier.

    The resolution expressed "grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity."

    More important, activists said, it also established a formal U.N. process to document human rights abuses against gays, including discriminatory laws and acts of violence. According to Amnesty International, consensual same-sex relations are illegal in 76 countries worldwide, while harassment and discrimination are common in many more.

    "The Human Rights Council has taken a first bold step into territory previously considered off-limits," said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch. "We hope this groundbreaking step will spur greater efforts to address the horrible abuses perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."

    The resolution calls for a panel discussion next spring with "constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against" gays, lesbians and transgender people.

    The prospect of having their laws scrutinized in this way went too far for many of the council's 47-member states.

    "We are seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce to the United Nations some notions that have no legal foundation," said Zamir Akram, Pakistan's envoy to the U.N. in Geneva, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

    Nigeria claimed the proposal went against the wishes of most Africans. A diplomat from the northwest African state of Mauritania called the resolution "an attempt to replace the natural rights of a human being with an unnatural right."

    Boris Dittrich of Human Rights Watch's LGBT rights program said it was important for the U.S. and Western Europe to persuade South Africa to take the lead on the resolution so that other non-Western countries would be less able to claim the West was imposing its values.

    At the same time, he noted that the U.N. has no enforcement mechanism to back up the resolution. "It's up to civil society to name and shame those governments that continue abuses," Dittrich said.

    The Obama administration has been pushing for gay rights both domestically and internationally.

    In March, the U.S. issued a nonbinding declaration in favor of gay rights that gained the support of more than 80 countries at the U.N. In addition, Congress recently repealed the ban on gays openly serving in the military, and the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the U.S. law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

    The vote in Geneva came at a momentous time for the gay rights debate in the U.S. Activists across the political spectrum were on edge Friday as New York legislators considered a bill that would make the state the sixth – and by far the biggest – to allow same-sex marriage.

    Asked what good the U.N. resolution would do for gays and lesbians in countries that opposed the resolution, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer said it was a signal "that there are many people in the international community who stand with them and who support them, and that change will come."

    "It's a historic method of tyranny to make you feel that you are alone," he said. "One of the things that this resolution does for people everywhere, particularly LGBT people everywhere, is remind them that they are not alone."


    Associated Press writer David Crary in New York contributed to this report.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    UK Religion told to halt weddings over gay rights Breaking News Jul 22, 2013
    Parents want me to marry a woman despite me being gay. FEASIBLE ?? Sikh Youth Oct 11, 2015
    India Indian Supreme Court Re-criminalizes Gay Sex Breaking News Jan 7, 2014
    Controversial No Gay Marriages, Gurdwaras across World Told Hard Talk Dec 17, 2013
    UK Christians should 'repent' over past treatment of gays, says Archbishop Breaking News Aug 30, 2013

  3. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Oct 13, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Unfortunately, some countries have ignored this UN mandate, most notably Russia. Even worse than Russia, Uganda repeatedly has tried to pass the death penalty against gays. The fear is that if they keep trying to pass this horrendous law, eventually it will pass.
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page