For the first time, the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution that affirms the universality of human rights, condemns discrimination and violence against LGBT persons and calls for a panel to review such acts, reports the AP.
The 47-member Human Rights Council voted 23 in favor and 19 against Friday, with 3 abstentions, for the resolution put forward by South Africa. It establishes a panel to review discrimination of gays and lesbians around the world. The resolution was backed by the United States, the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries. But African and Islamic countries, led by Nigeria and Pakistan, slammed the resolution saying it had "nothing to do with fundamental human rights."
Yes Votes: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay.
No Votes: Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania.
Burkina Faso, China and Zambia abstained. Kyrgyzstan was absent, as well as Libya, which is suspended.
The resolution is a follow-up to the Joint Statement adopted by 85 nations in March entitled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.“
The resolution was sponsored by South Africa, which is "a major turn-around from their past action on LGBT issues at the international level," notes LGBT Asylum News. South Africa has the world's only constitution that guarantees LGBT rights and marriage equality. RSA first attempted to vote against—and then attempted to abstain from—the UNHRC SOGI statement passed in March.