24 November 2016

Move To Get Rid of LGBT UN Privileges Intensifies

Africa is Anti-Gay
It won't be long now before significant changes will be made at the United Nations office to overturn the unpopular provision to give lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) special privileges over the other segment of the population.

The African countries led a group of nations that will try to use a vote in New York to reverse an earlier decision, which they were unable to defeat at the Geneva-based Human Rights Commission (HRC). The issue at stake: a council decision last June to create the U.N.’s first independent expert focused only on "violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."

A group led by African and Islamic states tried to prevent that from happening, and the vote result illustrated how divisive the issue is – the resolution passed in the 47-member HRC by 23 votes to 18, with six abstentions.

The votes in favor all came from European and Latin American countries, plus three Asian nations – Mongolia, South Korea and Vietnam.

The no votes came from African and Islamic nations, joined by Russia and China. There is a big possibility that they will be able to sway some more countries after intense lobbying and non-stop campaign.

And the time has come for a more aggressive attempt, this time in New York, where the U.N. General Assembly’s third committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues, is considering the annual report of the HRC.

The bid is being led by African states. Speaking on their behalf, Botswana ambassador Charles Ntwaagae said last 7 November that African countries were concerned about attempts to introduce “new notions” that do not have universal support.

Countries should stop giving priority to the rights of certain individuals, which could result in negative discrimination at the expense of other internationally agreed rights, he said.

Ntwaagae argued that sexual orientation and gender identity issues fall within countries’ domestic jurisdiction, and the HRC should not delve into such matters.