Friday, the United Nations passed its very first resolution based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution concludes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be extended to include LGBT individuals, declaring that there should be no violence or discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This historic resolution was presented by South Africa and Brazil with 39 additional co-sponsors from around the world.
Dawn Cavanagh from Coalition of African Lesbians said:
“The South African government has now offered progressive leadership, after years of troubling and inconsistent positions on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. Simultaneously, the government has set a standard for themselves in international spaces. We look forward to contributing to and supporting sustained progressive leadership by this government and seeing the end of the violations we face daily.”
Justus Eisfeld, Co Director of GATE said:
“The Human Rights Council has taken a step forward in history by acknowledging that both sexual and gender non-conformity make lesbian, gay, trans and bi people among those most vulnerable and indicated decisively that states have an obligation to protect us from violence.”
Maurizio Cecconi reports that “the resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up.” This report and a plenary panel are scheduled for next March.
And if you’re curious how the votes went down:
States supporting the resolution: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay
States against the resolution: Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda.
Abstentions: Burkina Faso, China, Zambia
Absent: Kyrgyzstan, Libya (suspended)
Co-Sponsors of the resolution: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and Uruguay.
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