Archive for December, 2008

statement

Déclaration relative aux droits de l’Homme et à l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre
Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Declaración sobre los Derechos Humanos, la orientación sexual y la identidad de género

New York

18 | 12 | 2008

Déclaration relative aux droits de l’Homme et à l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre

Nous avons l’honneur de faire cette déclaration sur les droits de l’Homme, l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre au nom des États signataires.
1
Nous réaffirmons le principe d’universalité des droits de l’Homme, consacré dans la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme dont nous célébrons le 60e anniversaire cette année, et qui prévoit en son article premier que « tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits ».
2
Nous réaffirmons que chacun peut se prévaloir des droits de l’Homme, sans distinction aucune, notamment de race, de couleur, de sexe, de langue, de religion, d’opinion politique ou de toute autre opinion, d’origine nationale ou sociale, de fortune, de naissance ou de toute autre situation, comme le prévoient l’article 2 de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme, les articles 2 du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques et du Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, ainsi que l’article 26 du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques.
3
Nous réaffirmons le principe de non-discrimination qui exige que les droits de l’Homme s’appliquent de manière égale à chaque être humain, indépendamment de l’orientation sexuelle ou l’identité de genre.
4
Nous sommes profondément préoccupés par les violations des droits de l’Homme et des libertés fondamentales fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle ou l’identité de genre.
5
Nous sommes également inquiets au sujet de la violence, du harcèlement, de la discrimination, de l’exclusion, de la stigmatisation et des préjugés dont sont victimes des personnes, dans tous les pays du monde, en raison de leur orientation sexuelle ou de leur identité de genre, et par le fait que ces pratiques puissent porter atteinte à l’intégrité et à la dignité des personnes subissant ces abus.
6
Nous condamnons les violations des droits de l’Homme fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle ou l’identité de genre, quel que soit le pays où elles sont commises, en particulier le recours à la peine de mort sur ce fondement, les exécutions extrajudiciaires, sommaires ou arbitraires, la pratique de la torture et autres traitements ou peines cruels, inhumains et dégradants, les arrestations ou la détention arbitraires et la privation des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, notamment le droit à la santé.
7
Nous rappelons la déclaration prononcée en 2006 devant le Conseil des droits de l’Homme par cinquante-quatre pays demandant au président du Conseil de permettre, lors d’une prochaine session appropriée du Conseil, la discussion de la question de ces violations.
8
Nous nous félicitons de l’attention accordée à ces sujets par les procédures spéciales du Conseil des droits de l’Homme et par les organes des traités et nous les encourageons à continuer à intégrer la question des violations des droits de l’Homme fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre dans le cadre de leur mandat respectif.
9
Nous saluons l’adoption de la résolution AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08) sur « Les droits de l’Homme, l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre » par l’Assemblée générale de l’Organisation des États américains, lors de sa 38e session le 3 juin 2008.
10
Nous appelons tous les États et les mécanismes internationaux de protection des droits de l’Homme pertinents à s’engager à promouvoir et protéger les droits de l’Homme de toutes les personnes, quelles que soient leur orientation sexuelle et leur identité de genre.
11
Nous demandons instamment aux États de prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires, notamment législatives et administratives, pour garantir que l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre ne soient, en aucune circonstance, le fondement de sanctions pénales, en particulier d’exécutions, d’arrestations ou de détention.
12
Nous demandons instamment aux États de garantir que des enquêtes sont menées sur les violations des droits de l’Homme fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle ou l’identité de genre et que leurs auteurs sont reconnus responsables et traduits en justice.
13
Nous demandons instamment aux États d’assurer une protection adéquate aux défenseurs des droits de l’Homme et de lever les obstacles qui les empêchent de mener leur travail sur les questions des droits de l’Homme et de l’orientation sexuelle et de l’identité de genre.

Declaración sobre los Derechos Humanos, la orientación sexual y la identidad de género

Tenemos el honor de hacer esta declaración sobre los Derechos Humanos, la orientación sexual y la identitad de género en nombre de los Estados signatarios.
1
Reiteramos el principio de universalidad de los derechos humanos, plasmado en la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos, cuyo 60o aniversario conmemoramos este año, que proclama en su artículo primero que “Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos”.
2
Reiteramos que a cada persona le es dado ejercer todos los derechos humanos, sin distinción de cualquier naturaleza, tales como de raza, color, sexo, idioma, religión, opinión política o de cualquier otra índole, origen nacional o social, posición económica, nacimiento o cualquier otra condición, como lo estipulan el artículo 2 de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos, el artículo 2 del Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos y el artículo 2 del Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, así como el artículo 26 del Pacto internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos.
3
Reafirmamos el principio de no discriminación, que exige que los derechos humanos sean reconocidos por igual a todos los seres humanos, cualquiera que sea su orientación sexual o identidad de género.
4
Estamos sumamente preocupados por las violaciones de los derechos humanos y de las libertades fundamentales basadas en la orientación sexual o la identidad de género.
5
Asimismo, nos inquieta profundamente la violencia, el acoso, la discriminación, la exclusión, la estigmatización y los prejuicios de que son víctimas algunas personas, en todos los países del mundo, debido a su orientación sexual o identidad de género, y el que esas prácticas puedan atentar contra la integridad y la dignidad de las personas que padecen esos abusos.
6
Condenamos las violaciones de los derechos humanos por motivos de orientación sexual o identidad de género, cualquiera que sea el país en el que se cometen, en particular el recurso a la pena de muerte con ese fundamento, las ejecuciones extrajudiciales, sumarias o arbitrarias, la práctica de la tortura y de otros tratamientos o penas crueles, inhumanos y degradantes, los arrestos o detenciones arbitrarios y la privación de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales, en particular el derecho a la salud.
7
Recordamos la declaración pronunciada por cincuenta y cuatro países en 2006 ante el Consejo de Derechos Humanos, solicitando al Presidente del Consejo que, en el marco de una próxima reunión pertinente en el Consejo, facilitara la discusión sobre esas violaciones.
8
Nos congratulamos por la atención que prestan a este tema los Procedimientos Especiales del Consejo de Derechos Humanos y los órganos de los tratados, y los alentamos a que en el marco de sus respectivos mandatos sigan integrando las violaciones de los derechos humanos basadas en la orientación sexual y la identidad de género.
9
Saludamos la adopción de la resolución AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08) sobre «Derechos Humanos, orientación sexual e identidad de género» por la Asamblea General de la Organización de Estados Americanos, en su 38a reunión el 3 de junio de 2008.
10
Hacemos un llamamiento a todos los Estados y a los mecanismos internacionales de protección de los derechos humanos pertinentes, para que se comprometan a promover y proteger los derechos humanos de todas las personas, con independencia de su orientación sexual y su identidad de género.
11
Instamos a los Estados a que tomen todas las medidas necesarias, particularmente de índole legislativa y administrativa, para garantizar que la orientación sexual y la identidad de género no constituyan, bajo ninguna circunstancia, el fundamento de sanciones penales, como ejecuciones, arrestos o detenciones.
12
Instamos a los Estados a garantizar que se realicen investigaciones acerca de las violaciones de los derechos humanos basadas en la orientación sexual o la identidad de género y que sus autores sean reconocidos responsables y llevados ante la justicia.
13
Instamos a los Estados a que garanticen una protección adecuada a los defensores de los derechos humanos y eliminen los obstáculos que impiden su trabajo sobre las cuestiones relativas a los derechos humanos, la orientación sexual y la identidad de género.

Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

We have the honour to make this statement on human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity on behalf of signatory States.
1
We reaffirm the principle of universality of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whose 60th anniversary is celebrated this year, Article 1 of which proclaims that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
2
We reaffirm that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, as set out in Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 2 of the International Covenants on Civil and Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as in article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
3
We reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
4
We are deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
5
We are also disturbed that violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatisation and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that these practices undermine the integrity and dignity of those subjected to these abuses.
6
We condemn the human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever they occur, in particular the use of the death penalty on this ground, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention and deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health.
7
We recall the statement in 2006 before the Human Rights Council by fifty four countries requesting the President of the Council to provide an opportunity, at an appropriate future session of the Council, for discussing these violations.
8
We commend the attention paid to these issues by special procedures of the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies and encourage them to continue to integrate consideration of human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity within their relevant mandates.
9
We welcome the adoption of Resolution AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08) on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity” by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States during its 38 th session in 3 June 2008.
10
We call upon all States and relevant international human rights mechanisms to commit promoting and protecting human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
11
We urge States to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.
12
We urge States to ensure that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are investigated and perpetrators held accountable and brought to justice.
13
We urge States to ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders, and remove obstacles which prevent them from carrying out their work on issues of human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity.

Maxime Verhagen
• Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Royaume des Pays-Bas
• Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
• Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, Reino de los Países Bajos
Rama Yade
• Secrétaire d’État chargée des Affaires étrangères et des droits de l’Homme
• Minister of State with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights
• Secretaria de Estado encargada de Asuntos Exteriores y Derechos Humanos

Secrétariat d’État chargé des Affaires étrangères et des droits de l’Homme
37 quai d’Orsay | 75007 Paris

© Direction de la Communication et de l’Information – 12/2008
En étroite coopération avec le groupe des pays co-auteurs : Argentine, Brésil, Croatie, Gabon et Norvège
In close cooperation with members of the core group: Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Gabon and Norway
En estrecha cooperación con los paises miembros del grupo de contacto: Argentina, Brasil, Croacia, Gabón y Noruega

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moscowpride2Russian Delegation at UN Explains Country’s Stance on Yesterday’s Statement on Gay and Transgender Rights

Diplomat speaks to GayRussia.Ru

Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev

The Russian Federation declined to support either “side” at yesterday’s United Nations statement in support of the decriminalisation of homosexual relations and respect for the right of people irrespective of this sexual orientation and gender identity, GayRussia.ru learned this afternoon.

While Russia was not among the 66 countries supporting the French statement, it did not support the counter-statement tabled by Syria and supported by 60 states.

“Russian Federation acts against discrimination, intolerance, repressions and acts of violence towards people of non-traditional sexual orientation,” the Russian delegation said at the United Nations yesterday.

“Nevertheless, this narrow specific topic should, in our view, be considered in the context of existing basic universal documents in the sphere of human rights protection.

“Artificial segregation of people with non-traditional sexual orientation into special item in General Assembly agenda can cause its overloading and lead to the shifts of priorities of the UN human rights programme and of the organisational workload, in terms of overcoming discrimination and xenophobia,” the statement concluded.

This was revealed to GayRussia by the Permanent Mission of Russian Federation at the UN in New York. It is understood that the statement was not distributed to the media.

The Russian diplomats at the UN stressed that the position of the Russian Federation was as an individual nation – and not in a grouping with other states.

GayRussia.ru was told that the position of Russia “on such a delicate issue is still at the stage of formation”.

The diplomatic source in Russian Mission did not dismiss the possibility that “Russian position can evolve” in case the UN initiative of France reaches the stage of political resolution which has recommendation value.

On December 10, Russian gay activists called on Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to put Russia’s signature to the French statement “in order to stop prosecutions of people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity”.

Russia itself decriminalised homosexuality in 1993.

Head of GayRussia.ru Nikolai Alekseev said this evening that “for sure we were waiting more from Russia, in particular the endorsement of French statement.

“But the fact that Russia directly – and clearly – talked in the UN against discrimination, intolerance, repressions and violence towards homosexual people, and did not support the position of Arabic states, shows a considerable progressive shift in the country’s position in terms of respect for the rights of the LGBT community.

“Of course we have to welcome this. At the same time we intend to continue lobbying for a more liberal position of Russian diplomacy on this issue in the future,” he concluded.

GayRussia.Ru, UkGayNews.Org.Uk

sunil-onu Date: 18 Dec 2008, UN, New York, Time: 13:30 PM

On the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) the UN may be divided but we, the people of Nepal, are encouraged to advance everyone’s rights regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Last year, Nepal’s Supreme Court decision issued directives to the Government of Nepal to recognise gender minorities for the first time. With the Supreme Court’s written findings on the case that were recently issued ordering the Government to protect and defend sexual and gender minorities’ equal rights, opportunities, freedom and security, Nepal has taken a lead in championing inclusion, human rights and freedom in Asia. It is also encouraging to see Nepal’s government commitment to pro poor and inclusive government policies by including a support programme for sexual and gender minorities in the Budget for the first time in Nepal.

It is not just the government and Supreme Court that are becoming more inclusive in Nepal: now a private bank – “Everest Bank” – has changed its account opening form and made it possible to open a bank account as a third gender. A semi government corporation – “Handicraft and Small Industry Corporation” – has started providing baking and sewing and tailoring training to LGBTIs.

When I recently visited India to support LGBTI rights, there many people asking whether Indian society is ready to accept LGBTI rights? Many people used to question whether Nepal, a country which is much more backward and poor compared to India and many other countries is ready to accept gay rights. Now Nepali society and government reflect the Supreme Court ruling. I have been elected as an openly gay MP and being part of the Constituent Assembly are examples of an inclusive, democratic and free society and parliament. If Nepal is ready to make these adjustments, then many countries like India are also long ready. It is just few vocal fanatics on the grounds of “politics or religion” who wish to think that society is not ready. The reality, however, is that society in general is always ready to respect one another, support each other, living in harmony together – regardless of whom we choose to love.

The conservatives wished for women not to have any rights, they wished Dalits – so-called “untouchables” – not to have any rights, indigenous people not to have any rights and many more marginalized people not have any rights, including LGBTIs. But the people in general do not wish to discriminate against their fellow neighbours and family members and things are improving in many fronts. However, there are many rulers and conservative extremists who do not wish to share our freedom, rights and equality – what we all deserve as we are at birth.

Support from the Norwegians, Dutch, British, French on Human Rights, Constitutional Work and HIV/AIDS as well as skill development training – such as beauty salon training and driving lessons to the LGBTs have helped to achieve so much in the last 7-8 years.

I know we seem to be lucky to have access to limited funds on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights but the need is huge and gap remains wide. I would also like to point the double standards that some countries – when it comes to advancing Human Rights, democracy and providing development aid to poor countries. First, some countries do not give a single second thought when providing development foreign aid to the most oppressive and brutal regimes who are cruelly treating and even murdering their own citizens on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity. Second, none of the countries in the world tax less any citizen because we are gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and intersex. So why have the tax payer’s money never been directed towards sexual/gender minorities (or only negligible amounts allocated) while you give aid to the poor countries? Why the principle of non discrimination is not applied on the ground of sexual orientation and gender
identities on development aid? This is very crucial question and demands good answers.

Now Nepal is moving towards championing a free, democratic and prosperous society after such a long time of darkness and we need your support. We need your moral support, we need your spiritual support, we need your technical support and we need your financial support.

I know the recession has hit many wealthy countries very hard but the hardest hit are the poorest ones in many parts of the world. The financial crises along with issues around climate change are of considerable concern for all of us to work through. Many wealthy countries have supported poor countries like Nepal when you enjoyed the economic boom. Climate change is affecting countries like Nepal faster than elsewhere because of our extreme altitudes. Now the time has come to show your genuine compassion towards the poor, despite your economic slow down; because the suffering of poor in poor countries has always been incomparable to the rich and has become even worse at this global financial crisis.

So I call on all the developed countries to support the many poor African and Asian countries and poor countries elsewhere.

I thank my government of Nepal and people of Nepal to support this noble cause at the UN and for taking a lead internationally to support LGBTI rights.

I thank you all for this opportunity to share and thank you for listening.

In Solidarity

Sunil Babu pant
Member of Constituent Assembly and Parliament
Nepal

Video: http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2008/se081218pm1.rm

66 States Condemn Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

New York, December 19, 2008 – In a powerful victory for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 66 nations at the UN General Assembly yesterday supported a groundbreaking statement confirming that international human rights protections include sexual orientation and gender identity. It is the first time that a statement condemning rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has been presented in the General Assembly.

The statement drew unprecedented support from five continents, including six African nations. Argentina read the statement before the General Assembly. A cross-regional group of states coordinated the drafting of the statement, also including Brazil, Croatia, France, Gabon, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The 66 countries reaffirmed “the principle of non-discrimination, which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” They stated they are “deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” and said that “violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
LGBT NGO representatives at the UNGA

un-group-photos-small1LGBT Activists at the UN General Assembly’s Historic Session, Dec 18, 2008. Back row, left to right: Charlotte Bunch (Center for Women’s Global Leadership/CGWL), Kate Sheill (Amnesty International/AI), Jelena Postic (IGLHRC international advisor), Susana Fried (UNDP), Kim Vance and John Fisher (ARC International), Philippe Colomb (Inter-LGBT France), Renato Sabbadini (ILGA), Rev. Jide Macaulay (Metropolitan Community Churches Nigeria), Second row, left to right: Ariel Herrera (AI), Cynthia Rothschild (CWGL), Paula Ettelbrick (IGLHRC), Vanessa Jackson (International Service for Human Rights), Bruce Knotts (Unitarian Universalist), Joyce Hamilton (COC Netherlands), Todd Larson (IGLHRC). Photo Credit: Adrian Coman, IGLHRC. You can download a high resolution version of the image from IGLHRC’s website.

The statement condemned killings, torture, arbitrary arrest, and “deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health.” The participating countries urged all nations to “promote and protect human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” and to end all criminal penalties against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to calculations by ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association) and other organizations, more than six dozen countries still have laws against consensual sex between adults of the same sex. The majority of these laws were left behind by colonial rulers

http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/12/17/alien-legacy-0

The UN Human Rights Committee, which interprets the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a core UN treaty, held in a historic 1994 decision that such laws are rights violations – and that human rights law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity happen regularly around the world. For example:

* In the United States, Amnesty International has documented serious patterns of police abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including incidents amounting to torture and ill-treatment. The United States refused to sign the General Assembly statement.
* In Egypt, Human Rights Watch documented a massive crackdown on men suspected of homosexual conduct between 2001-2004, in which hundreds or thousands of men were arrested and tortured. Egypt actively opposed the General Assembly statement.
* The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has documented how, in many African countries, sodomy laws and prejudice deny rights protections to Africans engaged in same-sex practices amid the HIV/AIDS pandemic – and can actually criminalize outreach to affected groups.

The signatories overcame intense opposition from a group of governments that regularly try to block UN attention to violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Only 57 states signed an alternative text promoted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. While affirming the “principles of non-discrimination and equality,” they claimed that universal human rights did not include “the attempt to focus on the rights of certain persons.”

At first, the Holy See had voiced strong opposition to the General Assembly statement. Its opposition sparked severe criticism by human rights defenders worldwide. In a significant reversal, however, the Holy See indicated to the General Assembly today that it called for repeal of criminal penalties for homosexual conduct.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the General Assembly statement reaffirms the reach and breadth of UDHR principles. The statement is non-binding, but restates what UN human rights bodies have repeatedly said: that no one should face rights violations because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Navanetham Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, strongly supported the statement. In a videotaped message, she cited South Africa’s 1996 decision to protect sexual orientation in its Constitution. She pointed to the “task and challenge to move beyond a debate on whether all human beings have rights,” to “secure the climate for implementation.”

Since the Human Rights Committee’s landmark decision in 1994, United Nations experts have repeatedly acted against abuses that target lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including killings, torture, rape, violence, disappearances, and discrimination in many areas of life. UN treaty bodies have called on states to end discrimination in law and policy.

Other international bodies have also opposed violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including the Council of Europe and the European Union. In 2008, all 34 member countries of the Organization of American States unanimously approved a declaration affirming that human rights protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Earlier in the day, the General Assembly also adopted a resolution condemning extrajudicial executions, which contained a reference opposing killings based on sexual orientation. Uganda moved to delete that reference, but the General Assembly rejected this by 78-60.
The signatories to the General Assembly statement are:

Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The Full Text of the French Statement and the Webcast of the UN Session

The French, who initiated the statement, have created a website:

http://www.droitslgbt2008.fr

about it with an attached document (PDF format, which can be downloaded) from that contains the statement in French (pages 1-2), Spanish (pages (3-4) and English (pages 5-6).

The entire day’s proceedings at the United Nations-the General Assembly Session, a subsequent panel discussion on “human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity,” and a press conference – were recorded and may be watched via the United Nations’ webcasting archive. Please note: the General Assembly Session lasted for 2 hours and 45 minutes but the statement condemning human rights abuses against LGBT people was read in the last 15-20 minutes. The following links are to the video files on UN website. You need to have Real Player on your computer in order to view the webcast:

* General Assembly: 70th and 71st plenary meeting, Morning session:

http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/ga/63/2008/ga081218am.rm

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes
* High-level panel discussion on “Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity”(organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, Gabon, the Netherlands and Norway).

http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2008/se081218pm1.rm

Duration: 1 hour and 23 minutes.
* Informal comments to the Media by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Maxime Vergahen and the Secretary of State for International Affairs and Human Rights of France, H.E. Ms. Rama Yade. Duration: 16 minutes.

http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/stakeout/2008/so081218pm.rm

You can also read coverage of yesterday’s events by the Associated Press, including a comment by IGLHRC’s Executive Director, Paula Ettelbrick, here:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h1rNjQnbi3UUwYn7JGfk4pLIO6DgD955IQK80
For more information, please contact the following organizations issuing this statement:

Amnesty International
In New York, Kate Sheill
ARC International
In Canada, Kim Vance
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
In New York, Cynthia Rothschild
COC Netherlands
In New York: Björn van Roozendaal
Global Rights
In Washington, DC, Stefano Fabeni
Human Rights Watch
In New York, Scott Long
ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex Association)
In New York, Renato Sabbadini
(in New York, Philippe Colomb
International Committee for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia)
In New York, Louis-Georges Tin
IGLHRC (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission)
In New York, Hossein Alizadeh

Full Text

ramaonu

66 countries back UN statement for LGBT human rights

London and New York – 18 December 2008

Sixty-six countries signed a joint statement in support of LGBT human rights, which was tabled at the United Nations General Assembly today (18 December 2008). The full list follows below.

The most surprising non-signers were the United States and South Africa.

The UN statement, which includes a call for the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide, was read by Argentina.

“This was history in the making. Totally ground-breaking. It is the first time that the UN General Assembly has been presented with a statement in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights. Securing this statement at the UN is the result of an inspiring collective global effort by many LGBT and human rights organisations. Our collaboration, unity and solidarity have won us this success,” said Peter Tatchell of the British LGBT human rights movement, OutRage!, which lobbied for countries to support the statement.

“To decriminalise homosexuality worldwide is a battle for human rights,” added Louis-Georges Tin, the President and founder of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), which in 2006 initiated the global campaign to end the criminalisation of same-sex relationships and secured the support of dozens of international public figures, ranging from Nobel Prize winners to writers, clergy, actors, musicans and academics.

“IDAHO has worked hard for two years to promote this issue. For us, this is a great achievement. I want to thank the many other people and organisations who have worked with us since the beginning, and more recently. I also want to remind everyone that ending the criminalisation of same-sex love will be a long, hard battle. To love is not a crime”.

“IDAHO expresses its particular appreciation to the French Secretary of State for human rights, Ms Rama Yade, for her role in organising this statement and bringing it to the UN,” said Mr Tin.

Mr Tatchell added:

“The original initiative for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality campaign came from the inspiring French black activist and gay rights campaigner, Louis-Georges Tin, coordinator of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). He lobbied the French government, which agreed to take the lead in organising the presentation of the statement at the UN.

“As well as IDAHO, I pay tribute to the contribution and lobbying of Amnesty International; ARC International; Center for Women’s Global Leadership; COC Netherlands; Global Rights; Human Rights Watch; International Committee for IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia); International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC); International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA); International Service for Human Rights; Pan Africa ILGA; and Public Services International.

“The UN statement goes much further than seeking the decriminalisation of same-sex acts. It condemns all human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, urges countries to protect the human rights of LGBT people and to bring to justice those who violate these rights, and calls for human rights defenders who oppose homophobic and transphobic victimisation to be allowed to carry out their advocacy and humanitarian work unimpeded.

“Although not binding on the member states, this UN statement of principle has immense symbolic value, given the six decades in which homophobic and transphobic persecution has been ignored by the UN General Assembly.

“LGBT human rights have, however, been previously raised in other UN forums and commissions. In the 1994 decision Toonen v Australia, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“Even today, not a single international human rights convention explicitly acknowledges the human rights of LGBT people. The right to physically love the person of one’s choice is nowhere directly enshrined in any global humanitarian law. No convention specifically recognises sexual rights as human rights. None offer explicit protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Some international human rights instruments have, of course, been interpreted to include sexual orientation, but this is not the same as the explicit prohibitions that exist concerning discrimination based on race, nationality, gender and so on.

“Currently, 86 countries (nearly half the nations on Earth) still have a total ban on male homosexuality and a smaller number also ban sex between women. The penalties in these countries range from a few years jail to life imprisonment. In at least seven countries or regions of countries (all under Islamist jurisdiction), the sentence is death, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Mauritania and parts of Nigeria and Pakistan,” said Mr Tatchell.

See the global survey of homophobia, published by the International Gay and Lesbian Association:
http://www.ilga.org/news_results.asp?LanguageID=1&FileCategoryID=9&FileID=1165&ZoneID=7
and
http://www.ilga.org/statehomophobia/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2008.pdf

Press contact:

Louis-Georges Tin – Paris – 00 33 6 19 45 45 52
tinluigi@aol.com

Peter Tatchell – London – 00 44 207 403 1790

Background briefing:

On May 17 2006, the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), the IDAHO Committee launched a campaign « for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality », and published a list of the first signatories, which include several Nobel Prize winners: (Desmond Tutu, Elfriede Jelinek, José Saramago, Dario Fo, Amartya Sen), entertainers (Meryl Streep, Victoria Abril, Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, David Bowie), intellectuals (Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Bernard-Henri Lévy), and humanitarian organisations like ILGA, Aids International and the FIDH.

On IDAHO 2008 (17 May this year) the French government announced that it would bring a LGBT human rights statement to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The text was read today in New York, and was supported by 66 countries in the world, and it clearly inscribes sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights.

The IDAHO Committee is the NGO coordinating the International Day Against Homophobia. This day is celebrated in more than 50 countries in the world, and is officially recognised by the European Union, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Costa-Rica, etc. These actions support international campaigns, like the call launched in 2006 “for a universal decriminalisation of homosexuality”

http://www.idahomophobia.org/

The 66 countries that signed the joint UN statement for LGBT human rights are:

Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
www.greenoxford.com/peter and www.petertatchell.net

gun9About United Nations Webcast:

2:30 pm Media Stakeout: Maxime Verhagen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Rama Yade, Secretary of State for International Affairs and Human Rights of France.

Letter from Stephen Barris:

Dear all,

The statement on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is likely to be read Thursday December 18th.

It is impossible at this stage to know at which time it will be given as the agenda depends on the debates that may occur prior to the statement (on a wide range of subjects).

If you want to watch it live, we suggest you

– Open http://www.un.org/webcast/
Select the General Assembly picture below the screen

– Print the agenda

http://www.un.org/ga/third/63/ac363infdoc.pdf

look for agenda item 64(b)

– Follow the webcast regularly to get an idea when the declaration, the counter resolution and a possible debate take place

You can also come back to the site the following days and look for agenda item 64(b) in the archived video for Dec 18

http://www.un.org/webcast/2008.html

Thanks to Vanessa Jackson from ISHR, International Service for Human Rights for the information.

—————————————-

Estimado/as todo/as:

Es probable que jueves 18 de diciembre, se lea la declaración sobre orientación sexual e identidad de género.

En este momento es imposible conocer en qué momento se producirá dado que esto depende de los debates (de una amplia gama de temas) que se produzcan antes de la declaración.

Si desea verlo en directo, puede hacerlo en:

– Abriendo http://www.un.org/webcast/
Seleccione la imagen de la “Asamblea General” en la parte de abajo de la pantalla.

– Imprimiendo la agenda

http://www.un.org/ga/third/63/ac363infdoc.pdf

y mire el tema 64 (b)

– Vea la retransmisión por internet con cierta regularidad para hacerse una idea de cuando tendrán lugar la declaración, la contra-declaración y el posible debate.

– Si lo prefiere, puede visitar la web en los días siguientes y buscar el tema 64 (b) en los archivos del 18 de diciembre:

http://www.un.org/webcast/2008.html

Agradecemos a Vanessa Jackson, del Servicio Internacional para los Derechos Humanos, por la información.

—————————————-

Caríssimos/as,

É provável que a declaração sobre Orientação Sexual e Identidade de Género seja lida quinta-feira 18 de Dezembro.
Neste momento é impossível saber a que hora terá lugar, uma vez que a agenda depende dos debates que possam dar-se antes da declaração (numa vasta gama de temas).

Se quiser assistir à declaração em directo, sugerimos que:

– Abra http://www.un.org/webcast/
Seleccione a foto da Assembleia Geral no fundo do ecrã

– Imprima a agenda

http://www.un.org/ga/third/63/ac363infdoc.pdf

procure pelo item 64(b)

– Siga a transmissão pela internet regularmente, para ter uma ideia de quando a declaração, a contra resolução e um possível debate tenham lugar.

Também pode voltar ao site nos dias seguintes e procure por agenda item 64(b) nos arquivos de vídeo de 18 de Dezembro.
http://www.un.org/webcast/2008.html

Agradeço a Vanessa Jackson da ISHR, Serviço Internacional para os Direitos Humanos, pela informação.

—————————————-

Cheres toutes, chers tous,

La déclaration sur l’Orientation Sexuelle et l’Identité de Genre devrait être lue jeudi 18 décembre.

Il est impossible à ce stade de savoir à quelle heure elle aura lieu, étant donné que l’ordre du jour dépend des débats qui pourront se tenir auparavant (sur une grande variété de sujets).

Si vous voulez la regarder en direct, nous vous suggérons :

– de vous rendre à l’adresse suivante : http://www.un.org/webcast/
Sélectionez l’image de l’Assemblée Générale sous l’écran.

– d’imprimer l’ordre du jour (en anglais)
http://www.un.org/ga/third/63/ac363infdoc.pdf

et de chercher l’article 64(b)

– de suivre régulièrement la diffusion en ligne pour avoir une idée de l’heure à laquelle la déclaration, la contre-résolution et un possible débat auront lieu.

Vous pouvez également retourner sur le site les jours suivants et rechercher l’article 64(b) de l’ordre du jour dans les archives vidéos du 18 décembre :
http://www.un.org/webcast/2008.html

Merci pour cette information à Vanessa Jackson de l’ISHR, de l’ONG Service International des Droits Humains

Stephen Barris
Communication officer

ILGA
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association –
Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersex
17 rue de la Charité – 1210 Brussels – Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 502 24 71
www.ilga.org

See also:

gaypope2

Vatican refusal to back UN gay rights declaration is true to form by Therion

The Vatican refusal to sign the declaration before the UN that seeks to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide is true to form. In a recent ‘clarification’ the Vatican claims that while it has declined to sign-on, it condemns ‘unjust’ discrimination against homosexuals – without saying what exactly might constitute just discrimination.

By exempting itself from the list of states calling for decriminalization, the Vatican is in effect handing moral authority to those nations that are determined to keep homosexuals on the periphery of society, under fear of being persecuted for the ‘crime’ of gay orientation.

The two-faced position adopted by the Vatican is nothing new.

In a recent Guardian article, Peter Tatchell covers part of the Vatican’s abysmal track record on gay rights.

Unsurprisingly, the Vatican and the Organisation of Islamic States are leading the fight against the UN declaration. The opposition of the Pope is truly sickening, depraved and shameless.Of course, the Vatican has form. In 2004, it teamed up with Islamist dictatorships in the UN Commission on Human Rights to thwart a resolution sponsored by Brazil that opposed homophobic violence and discrimination. The Holy See is so viciously homophobic that it opposed the UN condemnation of the murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Recently a sit-in was staged near St Peter’s Square to protest the Vatican’s position on the declaration. Protesters sat under the banners of Arcigay and Arcilesbica – the two main gay and lesbian advocacy groups in Italy.

pope-22The main thrust of the Vatican position hinges on UN envoy Migliore’s convoluted contention that signing the document might “pillory” countries where homosexuality is illegal and force them to create “new categories (gay people) protected from discrimination.” And this is a bad thing?

Of course the main concern is that ‘normalizing’ homosexuality might lead to same-sex unions. But this makes little sense. The social sanctions and taboos against same-sex marriage in countries where homosexuality is outlawed makes the Vatican’s stated concerns about same-sex marriage little more than a red herring. It is an excuse to avoid stepping up to the plate on this issue… a posture consistent with the Vatican’s homophobic agenda.

Full article

brokeback-therion

By Therion

When Italian TV aired Brokeback Mountain recently, gay love scenes had been excised. The missing scenes featured a kiss between actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal along with a love scene in a tent.

This wasn’t because the censor had a problem with sexual content per se … a heterosexual love scene stayed in place.

State TV network Rai Due isn’t exactly progressive. It has a fondness for airing biopics of popes. It has as-good-as banned the comedian Sabina Guzzanti – best known for her satirical attacks on the pope and Berlusconi.

It is interesting that the removal of gay content from Brokeback Mountain comes on the same week the Vatican launched an attack on an EU proposal to have the UN move to condemn discrimination against gay people. The Vatican thinks that defending the human rights of homosexuals might open the door for gay marriage … duh.

When a row erupted over the censored content, Rai Due offered some far-fetched excuse related to technical and administrative matters in an effort to claim that it was all an honest mistake. Not many buy this, certainly not opposition senator Luigi Vimercati who described Rai Due’s excuse as “embarrassing” and is calling for a parliamentary enquiry.

The Italian gay rights organization Arcigay believes the suppressing of gay content in the movie is a reflection of the times. There has been a rise in violence against gay people in Italy. Arcigay spokesperson, Matteo Ricci said: “The resistance by politicians of all stripes, backed by the Vatican, to same-sex unions has created the basis for the climate of hostility.”

askiglhrc

Sent by Paula Ettelbrick

Next week, during the session of the United Nations General Assembly, a joint government statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity will be presented from the podium. It will be the first time that the General Assembly has formally addressed violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As of today, 55 countries spanning 4 continents have signed on to the statement and 5 more countries have indicated their willingness to sign on to the statement, which calls for greater attention to human rights violations perpetrated because of a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

And, as of today, the United States has not signed on to the Joint Statement.

IGLHRC and the Council For Global Equality strongly encourage the LGBT community and our allies to send letters today to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Assistant Secretary Brian Hook, and the US Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, asking that the United States join its colleagues from around the world in speaking out against the torture, arrests, violence, discrimination and stigma faced by so many people everywhere because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Letters to Secretary Rice and Assistant Secretary Hook can be faxed to +1-202-736-4116 or emailed to the US State Department by clicking on this link: http://contact-us.state.gov/, and then clicking on the “email a question/comment” tab and filling out the on-line form. Letters to Ambassador Khalilzad can be faxed to +1 212-415-4443 or emailed to: usa@un.int.

Sample Letter

December 12, 2008

The Honorable Condoleeza Rice
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

During the current United Nations General Assembly session, 55 member states will present a Joint Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and another 5 have indicated that they are willing to sign on to the statement. The Statement reaffirms the universality of human rights and specifically voices concern about the treatment so consistently suffered by those whose sexual orientation or gender identity are the basis for torture, violence, discrimination, stigmatization and death.

We are very troubled and mystified that the United States has not yet joined this non-binding call for basic human rights. We write to ask you to sign onto the Joint Statement and take on the leadership of urging others to join as well.

The widespread incidents of human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and all sexual minorities are indisputable. They have been documented thoroughly by NGOs around the world and the UN, and reported with great frequency in the international press. The US State Department itself reports yearly on a variety of violations documented by Embassies around the world. And, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that both laws criminalizing homosexuality and government action that targets LGBT people for discrimination are unconstitutional.

As you yourself so accurately stated on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration “transcends political and ethnic differences and national boundaries, even as it embraces humanity in all of its diversity.”

The countries that have signed onto the Statement include: Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chile, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, San Marino, Sao Tome et Principe, Serbia, Switzerland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Uruguay, and Venezuela. All 27 member states of the European Union are also signatories. And, we are still receiving word of additional countries that have agreed to sign on.

Shouldn’t the United States join this call for universal human rights and against the continued mistreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world? We eagerly await your response.

Sincerely,

Paula L. Ettelbrick

Executive Director
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Cc:

His Excellency Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
United States Mission to the United Nations 140 East 45th St
New York, NY 10017
+1 212-415-4443
usa@un.int
Assistant Secretary Brian Hook, Bureau of International Organization Affairs
2201 C Street NW
Room 6323
Washington, DC 20520
+1 202-736-4116

email: executive_director@iglhrc.org
phone: 212-430-6054
web: http://www.iglhrc.org

The Mission of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is to secure the full enjoyment of human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression and/or HIV status.