United Nations Secretary-General Condemns Countries With Anti-Gay Laws

Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people are targeted, assaulted and sometimes killed.  Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide.  LGBT people suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, at clinics and hospitals, and in schools — the very places that should protect them.

More than 76 countries still criminalize homosexuality…Let me say this loud and clear:  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else…It is an outrage that in our modern world, so many countries continue to criminalize people simply for loving another human being of the same sex…These laws must go.  We must replace them with laws that provide adequate protection against discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  This is not optional.  It is a State obligation, based on the principle of non-discrimination — a fundamental tenet of international human rights law.

We also need a broad public education effort to spread understanding and counter fear.  When I meet with leaders from around the world, I raise my voice for equality for LGBT people.  Many leaders say they wish they could do more.  But, they point to public opinion as a barrier to progress.  I understand it can be difficult to stand up to public opinion.  But, just because a majority might disapprove of certain individuals does not entitle the State to withhold their basic rights.  Democracy is more than majority rule.  It requires defending vulnerable minorities from hostile majorities.  It thrives on diversity.  Governments have a duty to fight prejudice, not fuel it.”

From United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon‘s historic speech at UN headquarters, commemorating Human Rights Day.

Source: Gay Star News

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