This almost slipped by: The government of the Bahamas has publicly supported last week's historic United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that condemned discrimination and violence against LGBT persons, reports The Nassau Guardian.
The Bahamas supports the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution passed yesterday that affirms equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette. [...]
The Bahamas does not have a seat on the council, but is in favor of the resolution in principle, Symonette said. He noted that he had not seen the resolution, but said the government supports the expansion of rights for “people of any persuasion.” “Our record is clear, we continue to support freedom of expression and the right for people to express their opinions,” Symonette said. “We actually voted in expansion of the rights [of GLBT people in a UN General Assembly vote earlier this year].”
LGBT activists are optimistic, reports the Bahamas Tribune.
"It's been a long time coming for a country that identifies itself as a Christian nation. It's only the beginning and hopefully, soon enough, our Christian beliefs and our humane policies will come together and help us create a country we all want to live in," Ms. Erin Greene. told the Tribune.
"It's only a resolution, its not the be-all-and-end-all. It's just the start of a process of guaranteeing protection and safety of all citizens in a country. Many Bahamians may be upset and appalled but that move is more Christian than any other policy decision."
The Bahamas is a socially conservative nation. The public statement is considered a major win for equality, especially because anti-gay rallies and religious rhetoric have increased in recent years. In 2007, evangelical groups fought the proposed inclusion of the gay-themed LOGO network to the Cable Bahamas channel lineup. Two years earlier, Miss Teen Bahamas was stripped of her crown after she came out as lesbian.
Twenty-three countries on the human rights council supported the UNHRC resolution, 19 voted against it and three countries abstained.
The resolution was the first of its kind passed by the body. The United States, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa were among the countries that supported the bill. Perennial human rights abusers China, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the countries that opposed it.