Earlier today, the UN Human Rights Council held the first hearing “to discuss discrimination and violence against LGBT people.” UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon issued a special message to the council, decrying violence against the LGBT community as a “monumental tragedy” that is a “stain on our collective conscience” and a “violation of international law”:
BAN-KI MOON: To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, let me say — you are not along. 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 uphold. Today, I stand with you and I call upon all countries and people to stand with you too. A historic shift is under way — more states see the gravity of the problem….We must tackle the violence, decriminalize consensual same-sex relationships, end discrimination and educate the public.
The historic hearing follows last year’s report from the council, which found grave abuses and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the Obama administration’s commitment to advancing LGBT equality around the world.
In his statement, Ban-Ki Moon also reiterated his opposition to forcing nations to change their policies towards LGBT people by witholding aide.