Last month in a United Nations committee, 79 countries endorsed a proposed amendment to remove references to sexual orientation from the UN Resolution on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. Only 70 countries supported retention of the term, while 43 countries abstained or didn’t vote.
This is the only UN resolution to include an explicit reference to sexual orientation, and it has passed successfully for the past ten years. We cannot allow this backslide to occur.
The good news is that “we have the opportunity to restore the reference to sexual orientation – and hopefully extend it to also include gender identity – when the resolution comes up before the UN General Assembly on Monday 20 December”, according to International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
What can you do?
* Demand that the Member States of the United Nations condemn extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people by signing this petition.
* No matter what country you live in, learn how to contact your government, how they voted last time and what to say here.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s reaction to the proposed removal of “sexual orientation” from the resolution:
When individuals are attacked [or] abused … because of their sexual orientation, we must speak out. …It is not called the ‘Partial’ Declaration of Human Rights. It is not the ‘Sometimes’ Declaration of Human Rights. It is the Universal Declaration, guaranteeing all human beings their basic human rights, without exception.
United States Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice indicated that the US would “champion the rights of LGBT people at the UN”, reported International Service for Human Rights. Ambassador Rice and Secretary General Ban keynoted “Ending violence and criminal sanctions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”, a high-level discussion held on Human Rights Day and organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, France, Gabon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the US and the Delegation of the European Union. Read Ambassador Rice’s speech here.