Brazil asks UN to protect queers everywhere
The resolution is the first in the history of the United Nations to specifically address the human rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people worldwide.
It recognizes an obvious fact which, nevertheless, the UN and most countries continue to ignore: that abusing people because of their sexual orientation is a violation of their human rights.
Human rights and fundamental freedoms "are the birthright of all human beings," the resolution says, stressing that "the universal nature of these rights and freedoms is beyond question and that the enjoyment of such rights and freedoms should not be hindered in any way on the grounds of sexual orientation."
The resolution also "calls upon all States to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation" and asks the United Nations "to give due attention to the subject."
Aside from Canada, eight other Commission members officially co-sponsor the resolution and will vote yes tomorrow: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The other ten co-sponsors are not members of the Commission, so they won't be able to cast a vote. However, their endorsement carries political and symbolic weight. They are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal.
Jan Doerfel, of the International Research Center on Sexual Minorities, said today in Geneva that "contrary to initial information, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Sri Lanka, the United States and India will need a lot of last minute lobbying in order to vote for the resolution."
In London, British MEP (Member of European Parliament) Michael Cashman accused Egypt on Sunday of trying to block the resolution. "Not only does the Egyptian government openly and repeatedly violate human rights through their entrapment and torture of homosexuals, but now they are lobbying countries in the UN to allow these medieval attitudes to sexuality to continue."
Gay and other human rights groups are asking people to urgently call their governments to ask them to vote for the resolution which, as the Brazilian delegation stated today, "creates no new rights, but simply affirms the universality of human rights."
The Geneva-based UN Commission on Human Rights has 53 members. Currently, they are: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, France, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federacion, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.