The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has called on nations to abolish discriminatory laws against gay men and lesbians, the AP reported.
Pillay’s plea came Thursday in a 25-page report to the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council.
The report arrives on the heels of a memorandum signed by President Barack Obama that ties some foreign aid to gay rights and an impassioned speech on gay rights by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the United Nations offices in Geneva.
“On the basis of the information presented [in this report], a pattern of human rights violations emerges that demands a response,” Pillay said. “Governments and inter-governmental bodies have often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Andre Banks, co-founder of global gay rights group AllOut.org, praised the move.
“Today the United Nations has sent a powerful message to member states around the world, echoing what Hillary Clinton said last week: Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights. This groundbreaking report adds major momentum to the work that LGBT equality advocates are doing worldwide.”
The report, available here, criticizes Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen for executing gays and the 76 countries where gay sex remains a crime.
While not endorsing gay marriage – “states are not required, under international law, to allow same-sex couples to marry” – the report stressed that a government’s obligation to “protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation extends to ensuring that unmarried same-sex couples are treated in the same way and entitled to the same benefits as unmarried opposite-sex couples.”
by Carlos Santoscoy – On Top Magazine