The UK gay humanist charity – and this blog’s owner – the Pink Triangle Trust has warmly welcomed the passing by the UN Human Rights Council of a resolution concerning sexual orientation.
It 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”. It also established a formal UN process to document human-rights abuses against gays, including discriminatory laws and acts of violence. It was passed by a narrow majority of 23 to 19, with 3 abstentions.
Nigeria claimed the resolution went against the wishes of most Africans. Mauritania called the resolution “an attempt to replace the natural rights of a human being with an unnatural right”. Speaking on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Pakistan’s envoy to the UN in Geneva said: “I am seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce to the United Nations some notions that have no legal foundation.”
Commenting on the resolution the PTT secretary and my fellow blogger George Broadhead said: “This marks a major step forward in the worldwide campaign for LGBT rights. Congratulations are due to South Africa for proposing it and the twenty-three nations who voted for it.
“It is highly significant, however, that the main opposition to the resolution came from African counties like Nigeria and Uganda, in which religious-based homophobia is rife and Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Bahrain, Djibouti, Jordan, Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“This is reminiscent of the staunch opposition of Muslim states to the repeated attempts made by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association to be granted NGO consultative status at the UN, and clearly demonstrates the serious obstacle that Islam puts in the way of LGBT rights.”