The United Nations vote about gay people

Excuse the somewhat inaccurate title. The vote was by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, not the whole General Assembly, and includes sexual orientation and gender identity. And I want to know more about it and celebrate it as much is wise. I know the UU-UNO office has been involved in this action — and good for them; it’s one reason I’m a member/donor — though there’s nothing about it at their website, which is weird. So, I wanted to see what actually happened.

But first, a term of art: SOGI stands for “sexual orientation [and] gender identity” — read it for North American use of GLBT, BGLT, LGBT or any of the above with a Q in it. I’m beginning to like SOGI. If you start drilling into this, you’ll start seeing it.

From a press release on June 17:

In a resolution (A/HRC/17/L.9/Rev.1) regarding human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions, the Council requests the High Commissioner to commission a study to be finalised by December 2011 to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity; decides to convene a panel discussion during the nineteenth session of the Human Rights Council, informed by the facts contained in the study commissioned by the High Commissioner and to have constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity; and decides also that the panel will also discuss the appropriate follow-up to the recommendations of the study commissioned by the High Commissioner.

And here’s the full resolution (PDF) and its action planks:

Requests the High Commissioner to commission a study to be finalised by
December 2011, to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against
individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world,
and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human
rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity;

Decides to convene a panel discussion during the 19th session of the Human
Rights Council, informed by the facts contained in the study commissioned by the High
Commissioner and to have constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of
discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their
sexual orientation and gender identity;

Decides also that the panel will also discuss the appropriate follow-up to the
recommendations of the study commissioned by the High Commissioner;

Decides to remain seized of this priority issue.

So it’s good news and its a start. The report should make an interesting read. But the close vote (23-19-3) and the bureaucratic coolness of the resolution lets me keep the fireworks for another occasion.

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 44, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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