A Gayer World

The United Nations Officially Recognizes LGBT People For the First Time Ever

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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  • Von Johannstein

    Albania was a co-sponsor?!

  • Ryan

    queerty – this is just bad reporting. This is by no means the first time the UN has recognized the LGBT community. They’ve done so in dozens of other places, including their statements on extrajudicial killings and their Declaration Decriminalizing Homosexuality. The LGBT community has also been specifically addressed a number of times by Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the UN, and Navi Pillay, the UNHCHR.

    This is a big deal… MOSTLY because the Human Rights Council itself has never endeavored to research LGBT rights around the world and report on them… which would be less important were certain states to allow NGOs such as the ILGA to obtain consultative status (though at least we have the IGLHRC…)


  • Ryan

    @Von Johannstein:

    OH. And it most certainly doesn’t extend the UDHR… where the hell did you get that?

  • sam

    @Ryan: I THINK what they’re getting at is that this is the first time something has been done specifically for LGBT people, as opposed to including them in a list of other minorities… I think…

  • fuzzy

    Check out the minutes from the session: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11167&LangID=E Scroll down to “Action on Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” or text search for (A/HRC/17/L.9/Rev.1). The comment from Jordan is particularly illuminating in terms of how certain people view the LGBT community. The comment from Nigeria is, well, typically convoluted.

    And Ryan is right, this is just a call for a study. It doesn’t actually change anything concrete, least of all the UDHR.

  • angel

    I hope this make an impact the decision on gay marriage in NY. republiCUNTS need to change their attitude

  • Joetx

    Why doesn’t the list of co-sponsors match up w/ the list of supporters? I can understand a supporter not being a co-sponsor, but you’d think that a co-sponsor would be a supporter.

  • Paschal

    @Joetx: A number of the co-sponsors aren’t members of the body that passed the resoultion.

  • Dave

    The “against the resolution” list reads like a veritable Who’s Who Among Lice-Infested Unwashed & Ripe-Smelling Armpits of the World–which is no surprise. What *does* surprise me is that so many in the *other* countries remain happy to to stand against LGBT rights, in solidarity with folks they generally otherwise view as illogical, uncouth barbarians (at best), or evil, world-destroying vermin (at worst). As always though, the common denominator is willful ignorance–whether it comes in the form of Fundie Christianity (e.g., the US, the African cesspool countries), Fundie Islam (e.g., Saudia Arabia, the African cesspool countries), or alcoholic delusions of communifascist grandeur (Russian Federation).

  • Abogado

    I’m not for anyone but I think we all humans deserve respect, no matter what sexual orientation is taken, each own your own life, but without forgetting that the consequences come later and everyone will be accountable to the creator, this should be clear, and humans should not judge others.

  • Queer Supremacist

    @Dave: Don’t say things like that. Didn’t you know that it’s racist to demand a universal standard of human rights? Or imperialist? Or zionist? Or whichever “ist” is the current fashionable ad hominem of the left these days.

Comments are closed.