UN holds first leaders' meeting on LGBT rights

2016-09-22 13:41
Ban Ki-moon. (AFP)

Ban Ki-moon. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

UN - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday warned countries that criminalize homosexuality they were "bucking the tide of history," during the first UN high-level meeting on LGBT rights.

Held on the sidelines of the General Assembly, the meeting was attended by US Vice President Joe Biden and leaders from some 20 countries defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people worldwide.

Ban said it was an "outrage" than hundreds are killed in anti-gay violence every year and millions "live their lives in the shadow of discrimination and disapproval."

"Several countries are bucking the tide of history with draconian new punishments for being gay - or even just talking about being gay," he said.

"There is no room in our 21st century for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

"What do you gain by making others less equal?"

More than 70 countries worldwide still have laws on their books making homosexuality a crime.

In his remarks, Biden singled out Egypt, Russia and Uganda for anti-gay laws and where he said "arrests are on the rise".

Biden, the first high-ranking US official to endorse same-sex marriage, said ensuring the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was "the civil rights issue of our time".

"No government, no society, no individual, no circumstance should attempt to dictate who you love," Biden told the meeting also attended by Chile's President Michelle Bachelet and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Almost 40 countries legally recognise same-sex couples, said Ban, who also praised Mozambique, Seychelles and Nauru for decriminalising homosexuality this year.

"I ask those who use religious or cultural arguments to deprive LGBT people of their human rights: what do you gain by making others less equal?" Ban asked.

"Is your religion or culture so weak that the only way you can sustain it is by denying others their basic rights?"

Ban himself came under fire from many UN member-states including Russia when he decided in 2015 to extend benefits to the same-sex partners of UN employees.

In another breakthrough, the UN Human Rights Council has appointed the first-ever independent expert to report on LGBT violations worldwide.

Read more on:    un  |  gay rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.