U.N. Approves Resolution Against Anti-Gay Discrimination

The United Nations on Friday voted by 23-19 vote with 3 abstentions to approve a historic resolution firmly condemning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientaiton.

Presented by South Africa, the resolution affirms that member nations’ commitments to human rights include combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. It also notes “grave concerns” over violence perpetrated on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The resolution says:

Recalling the universality, interdependence, indivisibility and interrelatedness of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consequently elaborated in other human rights instruments such as the international Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant core human rights instruments;

Recalling also that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in that Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status;

Recalling further GA resolution 60/251 which states that the human rights Council shall be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in fair and equal manner;

Expressing 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.

The resolution also determines the following actions:

  • Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights commission a study to be finalised by December 2011, to examine, in all regions of the world, discriminatory laws, practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, and how international human rights law can be used to combat this;
  • Calls for a committee to be created to aid the High Commissioner in “constructive, informed and transparent dialogue” on anti-LGBT laws, and that the panel should also discuss how to continue to follow this issue and implement the recommendations made by the study commissioned by the High Commissioner;
  • Finally, the resolution “Decides to remain seized with this priority issue.”

African and Islamic nations who voted against the measure reportedly slammed its passage, with the AP quoting opposition forces led by Nigeria and Pakistan saying the resolution is “nothing to do with fundamental human rights.”

The voting tally as reported by ILGA Europe appears below:

Yes”: 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.

“No” : 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)

You can read the full text of the resolution here [.pdf].

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to -Marlith-.


federico bortoletto

Buona notizia.

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

Why on earth are there so many nations on the Human Rights Council that oppose Human Rights? Kick them all off and appoint countries that believe in Human Rights. Incredible. Believing in some mythology (religion) is a Human Right but being able to love the person you are attracted to and being free from persecution and death/imprisonment is not? Beggars belief in this day and age. Religion should be dropped and classified with other 'opinions' like clubs for those who like a particular novel or pop star. That is all it is and it has been forced down our throats for far too long. If religion doesn't teach and practice love and tolerance then it shouldn't expect to be granted any tolerance and protection in return. Period.

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

Khalem H, your name says it all in explaining your bigotry and hatred of people born with a different sexual orientation from yourself. Can you change your sexual orientation so easily? Lucky you! Most people, except those who are completely bisexual, cannot. People don't just wake up one day & say 'I think I'll be gay today'. Talk about 'dumb', it is you. Just use a little common sense, if you have any. It is no coincidence that all Muslim countries vote against human rights for gay people & persecute them with barbaric death or prison sentences since your religion's founder commanded it. Well it's time for your old tribal superstitions & ignorance to come into the modern age with more enlightened knowledge & thinking. Sexual orientation varies naturally in over 1500 species of animals including humans, just like other distinguishing characteristics like eye & skin color, height & features. Religion is a choice but sexual orientation, like other traits, is not. If you think it is so easy to change this inborn orientation then we challenge you to do it now. Let us know how you're doing. This should be interesting. Maybe it is time to quit giving so many special rights & attention to religion. The world would be much better off without it. If religion doesn't teach love & tolerance it has no value & is definitely a benefit to humanity or the world.

khalem h.
khalem h.7 years ago

dumb gays are wrong and need to stop that lifestyle choice love is for man and a woman

Allan Yorkowitz
.7 years ago

I would have liked to have seen a fuller voting tally. Those who voted against are no surprise.

Marc F.
Marc Freden7 years ago

It is not so much a red banner day as a rainbow flag moment. Gays the world over should not be discriminated against, so says the United Nations in an historic moment, adopting a resolution supporting equal rights for gays. Did you hear that "Faggot" slurring sports stars and, yes, I am talking to you Tracey Morgan for whom this must be a bit of a 'stab in the heart'. But it is not just the law of the land; it is the understanding of the world. So if the United Nations can understand and facilitate such understanding...what is still wrong with this united nation known as the United States? Just how can we stand by the UN resolution without fully understanding the hypocrisy that still permeates this United...or not so united...States. We still have discrimination in the armed forces. (Sure, sure, committee after committee has to still weigh in on the ridding of DADT. Until then where are we?) Gay Weddings? Good for some in some states...intolerable to others in most states. This is simple discrimination. Let us learn from the resolution and have some truth in advertising for once. If we want to call ourselves the United States...can't we just be United? Really!?!

Scott H.
Scott H7 years ago

What? The USA Voted for the bill's passage? Really? We voted to pass a ruling we aren't in compliance with? I hope it works. I hope someday it gets rubbed in our face that we voted this way, but can't even treat LGBT citizens as humans.

Dan(iel) M.
Dan(iel) M7 years ago

Some GOOD News for a change.

Arwen Woods
Arwen Woods7 years ago

This is absolutely fantastic news, and long overdue.

Jessica K.
Jessica K7 years ago

way to go UN! Now for the rest of the world...