HRC Blog

UN Head: Support LGBT Equality

This post comes from HRC Communications Intern Matt Arnstine:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who leads the United Nations, spoke out strongly this week against discrimination, violence, and hatred against LGBT people. His speech came during the first ever United Nations Human Rights Council debate on violence and discrimination against LGBT people. Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s statement was delivered as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights presented a report to the Human Rights Council titled “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”.  

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in part, “To those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, let me say you are not alone. Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle.  Any attack on you is an attack on the universal values the United Nations and I have sworn to defend and uphold.  Today I stand with you and I call upon all countries and people to stand with you too.” 

Just a few months ago, HRC President Joe Solmonese traveled to Geneva with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she delivered a historic speech to the Human Rights Council.  On the anniversary of the landmark Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Clinton said in part, “Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” 

While there remains much work to be done internationally, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State Clinton have started an important dialogue that will resonate in nations across the globe.

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