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United Nations recognises gay rights


ASHLEY HALL: The United Nations human rights body has passed an historic resolution declaring there should be no discrimination or violence against gay men and lesbians.

The local Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby says the resolution will put more pressure on the Federal Government to accept gay marriage.

Sarah Dingle reports.

SARAH DINGLE: This is the first time the United Nations Human Rights Council has recognised the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The vote passed with 23 countries in favour and 19 against.

Justus Eisfeld is a co-director for Global Action for Transgender Equality in New York. He says it was a tight vote.

JUSTUS EISFELD: There's actually more than we had hoped for.

You have to understand, the UN is governed by all member states - 180-something of them, many of which are very conservative in their attitudes. And a lot of countries have a hard time even talking about sexual orientation or gender identity.

So having an extra resolution that is passed by a membership governed UN body is revolutionary because it means that actually more than half of the countries, in this case in the Human Rights Council, are actually willing to talk about the human rights abuses that lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people face.


SARAH DINGLE: He says the vote was presented by South Africa and that in its original form it didn't contain any reference to gender identity.

JUSTUS EISFELD: At first we were very sceptical of this whole process and of course we immediately started to talk to the South African government about our concerns.

Amazingly enough the South African government was really willing to look very seriously at our concerns and to remove them one by one.


SARAH DINGLE: Amongst the countries who supported this resolution were there any surprises?

JUSTUS EISFELD: Yes, a few surprises such as China abstaining, Burkina Faso abstaining, Zambia abstaining, which is huge because it means that they're breaking with the Union of African States and the hugest of them is Mauritius, which actually voted in favour of this resolution.

And that is amazing because it breaks the argument that Nigeria as a head of the African Group was putting forward that all of Africa would be against this, and this is clearly not the case.
MORE
The US newspapers are all about patting Obama on the back for this and making the usual "see those Africans and Muslims are so much more homophobic than us!!!
[personal profile] parlance pointed this out to me, so I made an effort to find a source that pays more attention to the nuances of the fight. This is from Australia's ABC News. You should read the rest, its really interesting to see what impact this is going to have on Australia's fight to demand rights for the LGBTQIA community, especially on the subject of gay marriage.
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