Govt urged to protect gay rights
Johannesburg - The government must take a stand against violence against gays and lesbians by signing a United Nations (UN) document, the SA Human Rights Commission said on Tuesday.
It called on International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to encourage the government to sign the statement on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, currently under discussion at the UN Human Rights Council.
Commission chairperson Lawrence Mushwana said in a statement the body was concerned about reports of escalating violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex persons in the country and on the continent.
The commission has agreed to sign the National Human Rights Institutions' joint statement on ending violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
"The commission urges the South African government to be unambiguous in its commitment to protect the freedom of those who should have the right to choose any sexual orientation, and that any failure to articulate such an unambiguous stance would not be in keeping with our constitutional framework."