June 17th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

U.N. passes "historic" gay rights resolution

In what the State Department is calling an “historic step” the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Friday passed a resolution supporting equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation.

The resolution, introduced by South Africa, is the first-ever U.N. resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons.

It passed with 23 votes in favor, 19 opposed and three abstentions, amidst strong criticism of South Africa by some African nations.

Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, tells CNN

“It really is a key part in setting a new norm that gay rights are human rights and that that has to be accepted globally.”

“It talks about the violence and discrimination that people of LGBT persuasion experience around the world,” she says, “and that those issues...need to be taken seriously. It calls for reporting on what’s going on, where people are being discriminated against, the violence that is taking place and it really puts the issue squarely on the U.N.'s agenda going forward.”

Divided opinion continues among some countries about whether the time has come to take up gay rights in the U.N. forum, Nossel says, “so this resolution is really significant as far as gaining widespread support for doing just that.”

The State Department lobbied intensively for the resolution and Nossel says the U.S. was pleased to see African leadership, from South Africa in particular, as well as strong support from South America, Colombia and Brazil.

The resolution also will commission the first-ever U.N. report on the challenges that LGBT persons face around the globe and Nossel says the Obama administration hopes it will “open a broader international discussion on how to best promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons,” Nossel says.

In March the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a statement, supported by 85 countries, on gay rights called on “Ending Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made gay rights a key focus of the State Department’s human rights agenda, expressing her view that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”

In June, at a Gay Pride event at the State Department, Clinton said “Men and women are harassed, beaten, subjected to sexual violence, even killed, because of who they are and whom they love. Some are driven from their homes or countries, and many who become refugees confront new threats in their countries of asylum. In some places, violence against the LGBT community is permitted by law and inflamed by public calls to violence; in others, it persists insidiously behind closed doors.”

The State Department’s Suzanne Nossel tells CNN “its not like discrimination or violence are going to end over night” because of the new U.N. resolution “but now….when there are proposals in parliaments or legislatures around the world to illegalize gay activity or repress people because of their sexual orientation, opponents can point to this and say 'hey the U.N. has spoken out, there is a resolution that rejects this squarely.'"

"That is the way these international norms are built," she says. "Its not from scratch – on women's rights, on minority rights – it builds up over time so this is really a critical beginning of a universal recognition of a new set of rights that forms part of the international system.”

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. British girl sucking

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    May 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  2. Marc Freden

    It is not so much a red banner day as a rainbow flag moment. Gays the world over should not be discriminated against, so says the United Nations in an historic moment, adopting a resolution supporting equal rights for gays. Did you hear that "Faggot" slurring sports stars and, yes, I am talking to you Tracey Morgan for whom this must be a bit of a 'stab in the heart'. But it is not just the law of the land, it is the understanding of the world. So if the United Nations can understand and facilitate such understanding...what is still wrong with this united nation known as the United States. Just how can we stand by the UN resolution without fully understanding the hypocrisy that still permeates this United...or not so united...States. We still have discrimination in the armed forces. (Sure, sure, committee after committee has to still weigh in on the ridding of DADT. Until then where are we?) Gay Weddings? Good for some in some states...intolerable to others in most states. This is simple discrimination. Let us learn from the resolution and have some truth in advertising for once. If we want to call ourselves the United States...can't we just be United? Really!?!

    June 21, 2011 at 2:16 am | Reply
  3. Marc Freden

    It is not so much a red banner day as a rainbow flag moment. Gays the world over should not be discriminated against, so says the United Nations in an historic moment, adopting a resolution supporting equal rights for gays. Did you hear that "Faggot" slurring sports stars and, yes, I am talking to you Tracey Morgan for whom this must be a bit of a 'stab in the heart'. But it is not just the law of the land; it is the understanding of the world. So if the United Nations can understand and facilitate such understanding...what is still wrong with this united nation known as the United States? Just how can we stand by the UN resolution without fully understanding the hypocrisy that still permeates this United...or not so united...States. We still have discrimination in the armed forces. (Sure, sure, committee after committee has to still weigh in on the ridding of DADT. Until then where are we?) Gay Weddings? Good for some in some states...intolerable to others in most states. This is simple discrimination. Let us learn from the resolution and have some truth in advertising for once. If we want to call ourselves the United States...can't we just be United? Really!?!

    http://www.really-marcfreden.com

    June 21, 2011 at 2:04 am | Reply
  4. themadjewess

    "Fascism is Christian" LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Really?
    Here in America we ARE under a fascist, you are all so damned stupid, you cant see it.
    However, being a Jew, it is in my blood to smell and sense the times.
    Fascism is not Christianity, it is the LACK of Christianity.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  5. Michael

    How many gays must God put in this world to show that he wants them around?

    June 19, 2011 at 2:30 am | Reply
  6. Dustin

    Facism is a nationalist ideology based on christian beliefs and god was on their side. You say something stupid "facism" and call me leftist at the same time makes it obviously how moronic you are. Christians have been shoving there horid beliefs on americans ever since our deist, christian-opposed founding fathers helped create it.

    June 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  7. Dustin

    One, prove your god or stfu. You run your believing mouth without an ounce of proof. Faith is useless. Separation of church and state means take your religion home because that's the only place it belongs. You hatemongering morons are why America is only like number 20 in the world. Quit holding us back. You ruin education, rights, and freedoms. This isn't the land of the free, it is land of Christians trying to use government to shove their ignorance down people's throat.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • themadjewess

      What an IDIOT you are, Dustin.
      It is not christians that are shoving their way on YOU, it is YOU IDIOT fascist LEFTIST PIGS that are shoving YOUR show on people.
      Disgusting slime.

      June 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  8. Brandon

    For starters, everyone on here can argue all day whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong, choice or born that way, until they are blue in the face and it will not prove anything or get us anywhere.
    What i am seeing, are many comments that are filled with disgust. The commentors may say that they are coming from a God serving stance, but I ask them this, do you truly know your Lord? What i mean is this, while I am not attempting to debate whether or not God qpproves or disapproves homosexuality, As a Christian, I do know and believe my fellow Christians can agree, Christ's message was one of love, not hate nor disgust. Those that Christ had contempt for were those that held themselves above others. If you feel that homosexuals are wrong, by what Christianly manner are you acting by talking about them as if they are filth. Would it not be more as Christ would want us to be if we said, "You know, I don't agree with what you are doing. I don't believe it is God's will that two people of the same sex would be together. But I do believe God loves you amd Christ loves you. I'm going to keep praying for you and I hope that you allow God to be in your life qnd direct you.". See, if I heard people say that, I could at leadt respect the fact that they are truly coming from a Christianly, loving place. However, what I do see and hear are people saying and doing horrible, evil things and then attempting to hide behind God. As I said, we could go bqck and forth debating God's stance on homosexuality, but what I think we can agree on is that as exemplified by Christ's message, hatred is NOT a part of God's will. May everyone have a freat day, and God bless.

    June 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Brandon

      Lol, please forgive my typing errors. I'm clumsy on the iPhone keyboard.

      June 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  9. rajakov dubravka

    this great mistake for israel,baruch hasem,ggggggelohim save israel.

    June 18, 2011 at 5:48 am | Reply
  10. rajakov dubravka

    no comment.this is great mistake for israel.baruch hasem.elohim save israel.

    June 18, 2011 at 5:47 am | Reply
  11. Dustin

    There are some really dumb people posting here. Go back to Fox with all your damn opinions. Evolution- "being gay would make us all die out" only if we were all gay, moron. Then you fools with the slippery slope fallacies just need to either drink your cults koolaid or get an education. Unless you have facts for what you say, your worthless hate-filled opinions make you look stupid. Then to call it not hateful doesn't mean it isn't, just means you are trying to justify being dumb as hell. You spew the same rhetoric as a racist but change the minority, you're still a hatemonger, worthless bastard.

    June 18, 2011 at 2:23 am | Reply
  12. courage Nigeria

    I guess the United Nation is really waking up now.
    "The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva
    Friday passed a resolution supporting equal rights for all,
    regardless of sexual orientation."
    History is made indeed. It is a great news!

    But one thing is to pass the resolution another thing is for member countries to adopt it and abide by it.

    I marvel at the hypocrisy of South Africa where corrective rape is constant with little or no prosecution of the known perpetrators yet sponsored this resolution? I also appreciate the fact that they did.

    Africa and Middle East countries are the two major worlds where lives of an LGBT person are most in danger. I don't see African countries adopting it. Is there a way of bringing a country to justice for state aggression against the lgbt community?

    Either or not, I stand by my truth and so are others in the LGBT community across Africa and the world, I deserve RESPECT and the right to live without fear of intimidation of any form anywhere simply because I am gay.

    And those of you talking trash, I pray the God you seem to be siding with put on you the awkwardness you attributing to lgbt community as a lesson for you.

    June 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  13. Let's Just Be Cool

    I am a firm believer in human rights for all individuals regardless of any quality they have that might seem disturbing to others. As long as they do not commit physical or emotional harm to others, they can believe, say, and love whatever they want. What's the big deal anyway? If you truly believe that God hates gays then don't be gay yourself and you'll go to heaven (supposedly) and be happy on your own. Gays generally believe that being gay is okay so let them believe that. God won't send you to hell for allowing them to be gay, trust me. Thank you, UN, but being open-minded and understanding of the fact that some people are different than others and that's perfectly alright.

    June 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  14. Bevan

    The muslium belevers think that being gay is ungodly they preach love and humanity and yet have created a world of hatered muslium people have become ostracized and discriminated so you would think they would have a better understanding on what its like being gay

    June 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  15. Nate Stein

    Gotta wonder how this is going to be received in "freedom loving and peaceful" Islamic nations and what the UN is going to do about it if it's not well received.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Dean Bartlett

      This is a perfect example of the progressive lack of understanding or lack of caring about the beliefs of others the idea that it it
      is their right to DICTATE to the WORLD morals when they have NONE.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  16. Emily

    To the people who made (and will make) hateful comments on this article, especially the ones who put in religious references, I am ashamed of you. Your argument about whether they are born that way is irrelevant. Whether it is genetics, choice, or whether it is some of each could be debated forever and it wouldn't change the fact that hate is wrong. Hating a whole group of human beings to the extent that you persecute them and deny them basic human rights is completely against any real Christian morality, regardless of the reason you claim to hate them. The people who make those sort of comments are the Pharisees of today, so wrapped up in the constructed rules of their religion that the entity that is supposed to be the center of that religion would chew them out if he were down here.

    I'm not sure a UN resolution is going to have many direct results, but I do feel it is a step in the right direction and the fact that it got passed means that various countries in the UN made a choice to support the ideas set forth in the resolution.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • Katie

      Emily,

      Just because someone, for whatever reason, believes that homosexuality, bestiality, or sex with dead people is wrong and perverted does NOT equate to hate.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • Idiocy Takes The Day

      Instead of arguing with your feelings, lets try some facts.
      If homosexuality was a natural genetic occurrence the human species would die off without procreation.
      What human rights are those that choose to be homosexual denied? To own land? To vote? Can someone be thrown in jail just for being homosexual? To sleep which whomever you choose?
      The answer to all these questions is no, not a single human right is denied.
      The spin tactics take on the phrase human rights is being used to make people believe something that is not true. Comparing this to the REAL human/civil rights movements (see Holocaust, Apartheid, Armenian Genocide, The US up to and through the 1960's) is disgusting.
      Because someone does not agree with your lifestyle choice does not mean they hate and will cause harm to you like some will have you believe.
      Here's a fun fact, despite the horrible things the Catholic Church has done in the past, it does not commit pedophilia and homosexual acts on children. The homosexual's that put themselves into the places where they can do the harm do.

      This comment is more hate filled than anyone disagreeing with homosexuality:
      "Ursus Rexx
      I encountered this article, ("UN does the right thing for gay humans"), while perusing the evengelical, ('neo_nazi') website, wnd.com. It was under their essay collection lablled "Queerly Beloved"."

      Those that share his viewpoint love to equate things to nazi's without knowing anything about National Socialism.
      They want everyone to be "open-minded" to accept their viewpoints as valid when at the same time not willing to accept a view point that differs from theirs.
      The hypocrisy speaks for itself I guess.

      The light is always brightest when emerging from the darkness.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  17. Questions

    You can certainly make it law, but you can't make it right. I'm just surprised that this originated in Africa. I would have expected it from here in the US or the EU.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  18. RichardJ.

    Yes. It's a choice. All gay men & women choose to live in fear as social outcasts. All gay men & women chose to be gay in order to live a life of bullying, name calling, spiritual condemnation, family alienation, and widespread threat of violence due to homophobia. All gay men & women choose to become homosexual in order to join the ranks of becoming 3x more likely to attempt suicide because of people like you. Yes, clearly homosexuality is a choice.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Katie

      RichardJ.,

      Unless you are raped, engaging in any type of sex is a choice in which the human being can choose not to engage. Engaging in homosexuality, bestiality or screwing a dead body is a personal choice and there's always the choice to NOT engage. Just like the kleptomaniac can get help in choosing not to engage in thievery, the sexual deviant can get help in choosing not to engage in perverted sexual acts. And my belief that this is so doesn't mean that I hate people who do choose to engage in sexual deviency and more than I hate the person with a problem with kleptomania.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • Someone you might know.

        Love is a lot more than choosing to have sex, Katie.

        June 17, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
      • Brandon

        Why are you placing homosexuality on the same level as bestiality and necrophilia? The difference is two adults, whether gay or straight, enter into a concensual sexual act whereas in bestiality, it is an individual taking advantage of a living thing that lacks the cognition to reason, and in necrophilia, that's just plain wrong and disgusting. It's basically raping a corpse. Do not make such comparisons. Do you know very many homosexuals? Or are you making assumptions based on what you've read or been told?

        June 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  19. Ursus Rexx

    I encountered this article, ("UN does the right thing for gay humans"), while perusing the evengelical, ('neo_nazi') website, wnd.com. It was under their essay collection lablled "Queerly Beloved".
    ...Can you imagine a pastore using a label like 'N@#gerrdly Beloved'?

    I have been unemployed for a long time and one way to pass the time, (after sending resumes all day, to website scammers posing as employers), is by sending email replies...
    Noting the trends, as much as the actual statistics, (loss of parishoners & vocations in Christian churchs, due to money laundering, child-sex & 'obstruction-of-justice' crimes / scandals), and noting PhD Kennth Ham's lament about the difficulty recruiting evengelical christian children to continue in the evengelical belief, I am amused & gratified, respectively...
    I'm amused to see the 'publically pious' screaming about the falling sky, (a`la 'Chicken Little', about two adults marrying each other, w/o religious approval, aka, 'marriege equality'), and gratified that NY state's failed culture warriors, (aka, Republican state politicians), are realising that voting AGAINST gay citizens has the same result as A. Weiner sending photos: They'll be turned out at the next election, (just like all the 'T-bag debaters' of the other night, who have NO realistic chance of making , "...O'bama a one-term president").
    ...Unless they do the morally correct thing and grant gay NY'ers the same constitutionally protected, (religiously disrepected) family security rights! It's a win-win either way:
    If NY grants gay NY'er's the rights thay ALREADY have, we all win: the people get married AND NOTHING much happens in the way of Deity-retribution, etc.; If the vote goes against the gay community, the republicans will be free to actually be, (as Mitt Romney so callous joked about in Tampa, FL, the other day), unemployed...
    Then, next time, gay marriege will come to NY, (...& everywhere else), while the culture war, (like so many other religious wars & common-sense-free blood-lettings), fades into history!
    BTW: NONE of the estimated $2-3 Billion paid out to settle child rape claims (by Ratzinger's well-protected 'N.A.M.B.L.A. franchisee's'), has come from my wallett...for about 40 years!

    June 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  20. Jo

    The ignorant religious people posting on here are the fools. We evolved through evolution and are still evolving. Sexuality is just a part of that. Stupid religious people remain stupid and ignorant because they still believe in the spaghetti monster in the sky. Let them hate. They are the fools.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • Questions

      Hmmmmm......makes a lot of sense that evolution would evolve us into a species that cannot procreate...no, wait a minute....that really doesn't make any sense.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  21. Karl Gramsci

    Great. Now the UN can order the USA president to bomb civilians who object to homosexuality in the grammar school curriculum.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  22. WhitelighterNY

    Another piece of human waste that has overflowed from the toilet of homosexuality.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  23. themadjewess

    Spot on, Rocky.
    "Gays" are not 'born that way'.
    They make a choice to defy human nature.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  24. endrun

    Such ignorance. Yes they are born that way. Every person has the right to a free and fruitful life with all civil rights afforded them. We have only one life, let it be lived to the fullest no matter your color, religion or sexual orientation.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • themadjewess

      No, they are not 'born that way'.
      They, 'lesbians or gay men' are born with either too much testosterone or too much Estrogen.
      That does not a homosexual make.

      People can feel the way they want.
      Just b/c YOU believe in the lie, does not mean WE have to believe the lie.
      STOP FORCING yourself on US.
      It is YOU 'people' that is invading OUR lives, not the vc versa.

      June 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • themadjewess

      People have rights ENDOWED by their CREATOR. That is here in America.
      "civil rights"?
      BS.
      You are either free in God, or you are with satan.
      Leviticus 18:22
      1 Corin 6:9.

      God says NO, and since we are endowed by our CREATOR here in America, you cant go trampling all over him and not expect 'blowback'.

      June 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  25. Tim

    Fools. It still hasn't been proven that they are born that way. Whats next, rights for pedophilia? Only the devil and his followers agree and approve of this resolution.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • Get a Life

      You are all stupid and you Tim are the stupidest. Just because you are unhappy in your bedroom doesn't mean everyone else has to fallow in your misserable footsteps.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • RichardJ.

      I think the Catholic Church has already cornered the market on rights for pedophiles.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  26. Rocky Lore

    This is ironic because this is the same UN that defends the radical Muslims who kill gays.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • WhitelighterNY

      Sshhh ......."don't tell people!"

      June 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply

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