Resolution of the UN Faith Coalition for LGBT Human Rights

Posted in United Nations Human Rights Advocacy by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love on December 20th, 2010

Resolution of the UN Faith Coalition for LGBT Human Rights
December 2010

Whereas, the international Yogyakarta Principles of 2006 state, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral to every person’s dignity and humanity and must not be the basis for discrimination or abuse.”

Whereas, many faith traditions support human rights, including freedom from imprisonment and execution for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Whereas, more than 70 countries criminalize sexual orientation and seven allow the death penalty based on sexual orientation;

Whereas, countries in Eastern Africa are increasingly treating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as criminals;

Whereas, fundamentalist Christians and Muslims are promoting discrimination and persecution of LGBT people;

Whereas, basic human rights such as the right to marry and maintain custody of children and inheritances upon death are just a few of the civil liberties denied to LGBT people in many areas of the United States of America;

Whereas, all of these realities create a climate of lies and fear that promotes hatred and violence against gender non-conforming people and against those who love someone of the same gender;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, this 18th Day of December, 2010, that the UN Faith Coalition for LGBT Human Rights fully affirms and supports the proposed action by Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations to amend the Resolution by the Third Committee on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions which excludes protection of people who are vulnerable due to sexual orientation.

Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations has publicly stated her intention to propose an amendment to the Resolution by the Third Committee on or before December 20 to the General Assembly to restore the prohibition of the violent targeting and extrajudicial killing of people who are vulnerable because of their sexual orientation.

While we understand and respect that there will always be differences in understanding of human sexuality within society, we unequivocally assert that laws that criminalize people for sexual orientation and gender identity do not just violate human rights, they hinder social cohesion, economic development and public health. These laws diminish the trust and cooperation among nations, among communities, among families and co-workers that is fundamental to progress in all human endeavors.

Be It Further Resolved, that the UN Faith supports the member nations of the United Nation who determine to vote affirmatively to include sexual orientation and respectfully call for those members who cannot vote affirmatively to abstain.

Be It Further Resolved, that we call upon the United Nations to adopt and affirm the Yogyakarta Principles to bind international legal standards with which all States must comply. We call upon faith leaders and institutions to support these principles and internationally agreed standards of human rights.

Be It Further Resolved, that we call for the United States of America to work with its fellow Core Group Members of the United Nations to urge Countries which still have laws criminalizing sexual orientation or gender identity to repeal them and to develop a sustained and serious plan of action to decriminalize LGBT people around the world.

Be It Further Resolved, that we call for a model similar to that of the Responsibility to Protect to apply to the lives of LGBT people.

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) represents an important step forward in the long historical struggle to save lives and guard the wellbeing of people endangered by conflict.  It holds that states have the responsibilities as well as interests and duty to shield their own populations from murder.  This approach is bold and important.

Repeatedly, our consciences have been seared by the horrors of genocide and today we are challenged again by that possibility when protections are publicly and officially removed from a class of people

We are reminded of our shared responsibility for the international community’s failure to act in the face of genocide in the 20th century.  Our new century can and must be better than the last—more deeply rooted in humane values, more committed to universal rights.

The Responsibility to Protect was adopted by all 192 UN member states at the world summit in 2005; the Security Council reaffirmed the commitment and the related principle of protection in Resolution 1674.

Be It Further Resolved, that we call for preventative diplomacy and internal mediation which prevents anti-LGBT violence.  We call for strengthening of the United States and the United Nations to engagement in the internal human rights architecture and specific intervention in any country where fines, imprisonment and the death penalty are in place or being considered for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.

We must not wait for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing before we act.  The decision to implicitly and explicitly give a license to States to tolerate or implement atrocities against gay and lesbian people is a craven decision which disregards the dignity and worth of all persons.

Humanitarian policy concerns must build up the institutions that make a society resilient in the hour of crisis; including communities, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, schools, independent media, civil society organizations and governments.  These institutions must not sponsor discrimination, persecution and genocide.