The United Nations held a meeting with representatives from a diverse group of countries to discuss matters pertaining to laws that overtly discriminate against LGBT individuals. The countries included eight European and Latin nations, along with Israel, Japan, and the good ol’ US of A.
“Today’s meeting of ministers from around the globe shows a landmark commitment to end persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. ”The challenge now for both the United Nations and the individual countries will be to turn that commitment into action.”
The meeting sought to form a coalition of nations committed to protecting LGBT citizens, and created a declaration that, according to Human Rights Watch, “urged governments to repeal discriminatory laws, improve responses to hate-motivated violence, and ensure adequate and appropriate legal protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
To what I can only hope was an audience of enthusiastic and encouraging snapping, Roth eloquently explained:
“LGBT rights advocates have been accused of imposing moral values on others, but in fact it’s the intolerant governments that are imposing their values. LGBT people exist everywhere. The only question is whether they can enjoy the same human rights as everyone else, or whether governments impose bigoted views to deny them those rights.”
At the moment, over 76 nations have laws that explicitly criminalize homosexuality between consenting adults. This kind of protective action, taken by important world powers, is unprecedented in scope or scale.