Tuesday, May 08, 2012

UN Video on LGBT People:
Punish Violence and Hatred, Not Love!

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, a longtime friend of the global LGBT community, continues to advocate on our behalf for acceptance and respect. She's released a fantastic video today calling for an end to the abuse our brothers and sisters suffer, while also using the word love in terms of our lives.

The timing for the release of this UN video couldn't be better - about a week before May 17's IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. All global activists should use this video to promote IDAHO actions.

Speaking on behalf of Gays Without Borders, we are honored that an image from an action of ours in San Francisco appears in the video at the 1:55 mark. You'll see we're standing in front of an enormous UN flag and displaying a Global Gay Solidarity poster.

Please join Gays Without Borders on May 17 at noon at UN Plaza in San Francisco, where we will mark IDAHO by lowering the UN and US flags to memorialize LGBT people worldwide killed by hatred.

Many sincere and deep thanks to Pillay, the UNHCHR office and all UN staffers who created this video. It's incredible to see images of diverse LGBT people and colors and cultures and ages, in a powerful video promoting LGBT human rights.

Here's the transcript of Pillay's comments:

All over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of all ages face harassment and discrimination — at work, at home, at school and in many other everyday situations. In many countries, national laws are skewed against them.

In some 76 States, having a partner of the same sex is a criminal offense. People are being arrested, singled out for physical attack, being tortured, even killed – just for being in a loving relationship.

When I raise these issues, some complain that I’m pushing for “new rights” or “special rights” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But there is nothing new or special about the right to life and security of person, the right to freedom from discrimination. These and other rights are universal … enshrined in international law but denied to many of our fellow human beings simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We cannot let these abuses stand. We know what needs to be done. States must repeal discriminatory laws and ban discriminatory practices: punish violence and hatred … not love.

And we should all challenge homophobic attitudes. The best antidote is education – for children and adults alike. Reach out. Talk. Learn. And help make our world safer and better for everyone.

This is an historic moment: more and more States recognize the need for action and are speaking up – including here at the United Nations. With your help and the support of millions of people who believe in universal human rights, we will secure equal rights for every last one of us.

No comments: