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UN passes resolution in support of LGBT rights

2014-09-27
fLAGThe United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution yesterday (September 26) condemning discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. The resolution - led by Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay - follows a similar resolution that was introduced in 2011, and urges the High Commissioner of Human Rights to work towards finding the best solution to overcoming anti-gay violence and discrimination in the global community. A total of 25 countries voted in favour of the resolution, which is concerned with “acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity". During the vote, Pakistan’s UN representative spoke out against the resolution, telling the council: “The wider connotation of the words ‘sexual orientation’ can be destructive and inimical to our Muslim [faith]…and to our youth as a whole." A total of 14 countries opposed the passing of the resolution, including Pakistan and Russia. The remaining seven countries with seats on the council chose to abstain from the vote. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission have released a statement applauding the resolution, saying that it should compel the UN to tackle anti-gay discrimination head-on.

"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 and rights,” said the commission's executive director, Jessica Stern. "This resolution puts the UN on a trajectory to address the discrimination and violence LGBT persons suffer daily across the world.”

Stern continued: "The council is confirming that LGBT people have universal human rights. We know, of course, that the struggle is long, and 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."