Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fein: UN Restores Gays 
to Anti-Execution Resolution

(Activists demanded UN protections for gays on December 11. Credit: Bill Wilson.)

Permit me to toot the horn of San Francisco's gay community, for staging the only public street protest over the abominable anti-gay United Nations vote in November. We went to UN Plaza on December 11 to demand the global institution reverse that vote and to speak up for protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons around the world.

As we all know now, the UN did the right thing on Tuesday, and my friend longtime gay artist and political activist Clinton Fein, has posted an essay about this positive development. I'm cross-posting it from his blog. Thanks, Clinton, and everyone who came to the recent rally and everyone around the globe who expressed anger over the November vote.

Clinton wrote:

Yesterday, as reported by Tanya Domi, the UN voted in favor of restoring “sexual orientation” to the UN General Assembly resolution on extra judicial executions, by a margin of 109-41, with 35 abstentions.

This followed a resolution last month that had deliberately stripped sexual orientation from the resolution, essentially paving the way for the UN sanction of gay executions without cause.

The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, stated the resolution sent a "clear and resounding message" that justice and human rights was not precluded on the basis of sexual orientation.

Following the vote last month, Michael Petrelis – a San Francisco based activist organized a well-attended solidarity protest at UN Plaza on December 11th, the day after International Human Rights Day, which included a statement from State senator Mark Leno (read by veteran global gay activist Tate Swindell).

The rally was emceed by Supervisor and mayoral candidate, Bevan Dufty. Aside from myself, other speakers included author Davina Kotulski, transgender AIDS activist Veronika Cauley, Michael Petrelis, and veteran LGBT marriage equality advocate Molly McKay.

Two workers from the Department of Public Work lowered the UN flag and tied the rainbow flag underneath it, then raised both flags.

I spoke as a former South African, decrying South Africa’s embarrassing involvement in voting in favor of the removal and appealing to South Africa to vote in favor of the restoral of “sexual orientation” in order to resume the leadership role she assumed following the abolishment of apartheid, rather than stain the efforts of Nelson Mandela with homophobia and discrimination.

Much to my satisfaction, and most South Africans, South Africa changed her mind, voting in favor of the resolution.

However, the homophobia on display, clearly outlined on Tanya Domi’s article published on The New Civil Rights Movement blog, is more than a little disturbing.

"We will not have it foisted on us," Zimbabwe's UN ambassador, Chitsaka Chipaziwa, stated, according to Reuters. "We cannot accept this, especially if it entails accepting such practices as bestiality, paedophilia and those other practices many societies would find abhorrent in their value systems.

"In our view, what adult people do in their private capacity, by mutual consent, does not need agreement or rejection by governments, save where such practices are legally proscribed."

Robert Mugabe's henchman. A real charmer. Perhaps more disturbing than anything else, is that old, senile, racist lunatics like Mugabe have a voice at the United Nations.

Images of the San Francisco protest can be found here.

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