HRC Joins Human Rights Day Celebration at UN
December 13, 2012 by Ty Cobb, Senior Legislative Counsel
HRC joined LGBT activists from around the globe to celebrate Human Rights Day at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City on Tuesday. The event – co-organized by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission – featured remarks by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, international celebrities Ricky Martin and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and LGBT human rights defenders from Argentina, Malawi, and the Ukraine.
The Secretary-General, who serves as the leader and spokesperson of the U.N., spoke passionately about his commitment to fighting for the human rights of LGBT people:
No one gets to decide who is entitled to human rights and who is not. Let me say this loud and clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. They, too, are born free and equal. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights.
The full text of his speech can be found here.
The event also included a video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Archbishop Tutu, who recently wrote an op-ed calling for the Ugandan people to reject the hatred of the Anti-Homosexuality bill being considered by its parliament, stated that “we cannot claim that our societies are free and equal as long as some amongst us are treated as inferior, denied even their basic human rights.”
The U.S. mission to the U.N., along with a coalition of other U.N. members, helped coordinate the event. Only a year ago, HRC celebrated Human Rights Day alongside LGBT activist from around the world as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a historic speech on the floor of the U.N. in Geneva declaring “gay rights are human rights.”