First-Ever at International Organization
The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has voted to create an LGBT rights watchdog to monitor "violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity." The vote, which took place Thursday, was not without opposition. It passed 23-18, with six nations abstaining, according to Buzzfeed's J. Lester Feder.
Feder calls the move "the most ambitious effort yet to advance LGBT rights within the United Nations system, and the resolution included the strongest language to date suggesting LGBT rights should be a concern of international human rights law."
Opponents to the resolution calling for an LGBT rights watchdog were "led by Pakistan on behalf of almost all members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC)," and "succeeded in adding several amendments that framed the LGBT rights proposal as a cultural imposition intending to override local values and sovereignty."
Several of those amendments were religious in nature. One claimed the resolution "undermines universal human rights values to 'impose concepts or notions pertaining to social matters, including private individual conduct.'"
The Council is composed of 47 member nations.
Regardless of opposition, it's an important step in worldwide LGBT equality and raising awareness of the challenges LGBT people face.
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