UN Human Rights Council approves resolution supporting LGBT rights

United Nations headquarters in New York.

United Nations headquarters in New York. AP



UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday approved a resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The resolution — led by Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay — followed a resolution in 2011 on the same topic led by South Africa and asks the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to gather and publish information on how best to overcome discrimination and violence.

The resolution passed with the support of 25 countries voting in favor (including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Mexco); 14 opposed (including the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates), and 7 abstained.

Opponents of the resolution had employed procedural tactics to defeat the text, by presenting a total of 7 amendments that would have eliminated all reference to sexual orientation and gender identity from the text, and made it applicable only to countries who proactively declare support for sexual diversity and rights. These amendments were defeated by vote.

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The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) applauded resolution, calling it an important step forward toward progress for equality and human rights for LGBT individuals.

“The Human Rights Council has taken a fundamental step forward by reaffirming one of the United Nations’ key principles—that everyone is equal in dignity and rights,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of IGLHRC. “This resolution puts the UN on a trajectory to address the discrimination and violence LGBT persons suffer daily across the world.”

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