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Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.
June 17, 2011 5:02 PM   Subscribe

In a non-binding resolution narrowly passed by 23 to 19 (with 3 abstentions), the United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned violence and discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender people for the first time.

Introduced by South Africa, and lobbied for by the US State Department, the resolution expresses grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity…. Further, it establishes a study to to examine discrimination against the gay community around the world by the end of the year.
posted by thebestsophist (48 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yay for non-binding resolutions!
posted by Weebot at 5:09 PM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow -- I'm not surprised at many of the "against" votes, but Russia?
posted by en forme de poire at 5:10 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, non-binding resolutions have no teeth. Which means we'll never see the UN get together and pass a resolution against the United States government for supporting the likes of DOMA and Rick Warren, for example, let alone any enforcement against, say, Uganda and Iran for supporting capital punishment for GLBT individuals. One could say this is a start, but the end goal seems vague, in spite of the pressing global matter of coordinated, institutionalized and ongoing campaigns of physical, mental, economic and other forms of violence against and dehumanization of gays.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:13 PM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


The numerous countries that voted against this resolution are going to change their tune once they hear what stance the UN Human Rights Council has on LGBT issues.
posted by floam at 5:13 PM on June 17, 2011


I'm surprised the U.S. was even allowed to back the resolution. Clearly the UN has a taste for irony.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:16 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


LOL let's make fun of the people trying to make positive steps in the right direction against overwhelming religious opposition! Non-binding! Hahahah.
posted by auto-correct at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2011 [21 favorites]


So.. who's left? I mean, there's a lot of condemnation-of-violence-against-particular-group, but surely someone's been left out. Who is it still okay to beat up?!

Because obviously if you're doing it this piecemeal it means that SOME discriminate violence is alllllriiiiight.
posted by curious nu at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2011


Irony isn't always funny.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:19 PM on June 17, 2011


Because obviously if you're doing it this piecemeal it means that SOME discriminate violence is alllllriiiiight.

Yes, that's obviously what it means.
posted by ixohoxi at 5:21 PM on June 17, 2011


Well good! I'm glad THAT'S settled. Now let's bad war!
posted by happyroach at 5:22 PM on June 17, 2011


I'm surprised the U.S. was even allowed to back the resolution. Clearly the UN has a taste for irony.

Don't think of DOMA as discriminating against gays. Think of it as keeping things the way God wants them.
posted by Trurl at 5:24 PM on June 17, 2011


Yes, that's obviously what it means.

When you have to spell it out - "No, you can't hit anyone. No, not even them. Nor them." - you have a pretty basic problem with the species that could probably be addressed in a better and more real way than this.

It was a semi-serious question worded flippantly and I regret that. So: are there any other long-victimized groups that are still awaiting this protection? Who either a) doesn't rate high enough in the world to be granted this, or b) is being blocked by politics?
posted by curious nu at 5:28 PM on June 17, 2011


So the UN passed a resolution against binding?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:29 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised the U.S. was even allowed to back the resolution. Clearly the UN has a taste for irony.

Right, because the US government (not to mention the UN) is clearly a monolithic entity that has NEVER disagreed with itself...
posted by FJT at 5:30 PM on June 17, 2011


Dag Hammarskjöld is smiling.
posted by Vibrissae at 5:30 PM on June 17, 2011


Burkina Faso abstained. Hmm. Interesting. I think.

Er, this is a place, right?
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:35 PM on June 17, 2011


Wow -- I'm not surprised at many of the "against" votes, but Russia?

Russia maintains itself as a hell on earth for gay rights. In spite of a good general level of education (an educated populace) tyranny and ignorance still dominate the landscape. My Russian friends say it still feels a lot like the old USSR, without the old Cold War posing and shortages of goods. Journalists are regularly murdered; the Russian mafia inhabits almost every enterprise, and surveillance is on the rise. Putin and his old Commie cronies have turned back the clock in many essential ways. One Russian friend recently told me that Russia was never a Communist Country - rather, it was a seriously corrupt capitalist enterprise, and it still is, albeit in a different way.
posted by Vibrissae at 5:41 PM on June 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


List of UNHRC Members, offered without comment.
posted by vidur at 5:43 PM on June 17, 2011


re: Russia: also check out Vanguard episode 6, From Russia With Hate.
posted by curious nu at 5:45 PM on June 17, 2011


LGBT people worldwide are slightly better off today than they were yesterday, and that when they're confronting official prejudice they'll be able to cite this resolution and the forthcoming report as evidence of an emerging international consensus about sexuality and human rights. A lot of people have dedicated a lot of time and effort to helping build that consensus, and this non-binding resolution is the first fruit of their efforts.

Those of you who decided to take a big shit on that: I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it was the most exhilerating, pleasurable shit you've ever had. Because your shit really stinks and I'd hate to think that you'd ruin anyone else's feelings of satisfaction without enjoying some satisfaction of your own, you selfish assholes.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:51 PM on June 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


In other news, an Obama aide claims Obama never actually supported gay marriage back in 1996 despite the fact that he signed questionnaires saying he did.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:58 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those of you who decided to take a big shit on that: I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it was the most exhilerating, pleasurable shit you've ever had. Because your shit really stinks and I'd hate to think that you'd ruin anyone else's feelings of satisfaction without enjoying some satisfaction of your own, you selfish assholes.

Look, I don't think the people posting flippantly here meant to 'take as shit' on this measure as you put it. Rather, I think most people realize that such a measure will not amount to much 'real' legal or social pressure on preventing discrimination or violence against gays. I mean, the fact that it is a) non-binding and b) backed primarily by the US is pretty ironic in itself. I am definitely for this as a symbol of how far we've come for LGBT rights, but realistically, I don't know how much this will change current conditions.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 6:00 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


When you have to spell it out - "No, you can't hit anyone. No, not even them. Nor them." - you have a pretty basic problem with the species that could probably be addressed in a better and more real way than this.

Implementing safewords at a governmental level is going to take some doing.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Calling someone an asshole doesn't usually sway them to your point of view.
posted by curious nu at 6:12 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


curious nu: "So.. who's left? I mean, there's a lot of condemnation-of-violence-against-particular-group, but surely someone's been left out. Who is it still okay to beat up?!

Because obviously if you're doing it this piecemeal it means that SOME discriminate violence is alllllriiiiight
"

Fat people, mainly
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:27 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Calling someone an asshole doesn't usually sway them to your point of view.

True, but friends like that, I don't need. It's not like there was some orgy of self-congratulation underway before the grim reality squad showed up to complain about the inadequacy of it all.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:54 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


When you have to spell it out - "No, you can't hit anyone. No, not even them. Nor them." - you have a pretty basic problem with the species that could probably be addressed in a better and more real way than this.

As much as we would like to, we can't issue resolutions, non-binding or full-force-of-law backed, which are suggestions of good behavior. Our basic assumption is that people will be good except for the outliers, and we find ways to single out what we consider bad behavior and tell people not to do it.

Unfortunately, it's the opposite of "you can't prove a negative". All you can do with things like this is lay out what people should NOT do and hope that what remains is the core of good that you want to see.

So, my question to you is... what "better and more real way" do you think exists which could possibly address this basic problem with the species?
posted by hippybear at 7:07 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking out against violence is better than not speaking out. That those who condemn violence against LGBT peoples are not Fully Totally Perfect is a big fat so what to me. If we waited for every goddamn country to be Perfectly Pure before they said "Hey, this shit over here is bad," we'd never hear from any country.

Sneer all you want, but it's not actually legal in the U.S. to beat someone up or kill them because they're gay. It isn't legal to firebomb a club or office, and that kind of thing isn't really even ignored or tucked under the rug the way it once was. There's been just a teeny amount of progress here.
posted by rtha at 7:45 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


LGBT people worldwide aren't just a tiny bit better off today after this resolution than before it?

I fail to see how they are not, and don't feel any shame for saying so.
posted by hippybear at 7:56 PM on June 17, 2011


It's not surprising that the vast majority of the countries opposing it were the ones that really shouldn't be on any sort of "human rights counsel."
posted by autoclavicle at 8:16 PM on June 17, 2011


True, but friends like that, I don't need.

Yes, you do. Well, maybe not friends, but you surely don't want them as enemies. Every person you turn away with attitude is one less on your side, and that means that one day they might be not just standing on the sidelines, but actively opposing you: "I hate those people, always calling me an asshole, what do those ignorant fucks know? Yea, that person and everyone that associates with 'em should be cast out."

You can maybe get away with spite like that with someone you know - maybe it'll shake them up a bit, maybe not, if it's uncharacteristic of you - but online it just feeds the hate-noise.
posted by curious nu at 8:33 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


rtha: "There's been just a teeny amount of progress here."

Even in progressive countries it's still surprisingly difficult to get hate crimes treated as hate crimes.

and I know it's the same old thing every time, but it still makes me sort of sad that we actually got the T into this one right next to the more important letters and it's still reported worldwide as a victory for "gay rights". foreveralone.gif
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:38 PM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


by 23 to 19 (with 3 abstentions)

Really...it was that close? WTF?!?

Aren't these the bastards that can pretty much vote on things like "Non-tooth-destroying candy for ALL childrent EVERYWHERE!!!", and not have to back it up?

And still the vote was this close?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:44 PM on June 17, 2011


LGBT people worldwide are slightly better off today than they were yesterday, and that when they're confronting official prejudice they'll be able to cite this resolution and the forthcoming report as evidence of an emerging international consensus about sexuality and human rights. A lot of people have dedicated a lot of time and effort to helping build that consensus, and this non-binding resolution is the first fruit of their efforts.

I wonder if the most immediately useful case will be asylum cases.
posted by rodgerd at 1:50 AM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


it still makes me sort of sad that we actually got the T into this one right next to the more important letters and it's still reported worldwide as a victory for "gay rights"

At some point you just have to pull your T under the umbrella of "gay" like the Ls and the Bs have to a lot of the time. Anyone who is paying real attention to what this resolution says knows that the Ts are there, and anyone who isn't paying real attention probably has this whole jumbled up notion of what all those letters mean anyway.

Celebrate the victory as it truly is, and don't mourn that you're not being singled out for recognition. The fact of the matter is, you've been included, and that's what really counts in these circumstances.
posted by hippybear at 3:37 AM on June 18, 2011


Celebrate the victory as it truly is, and don't mourn that you're not being singled out for recognition.

I am celebrating the victory as it truly is. UN did good. What I'm mourning is the inevitable tendency for the media to erase the T.

But, y'know, thanks for talking down to me.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:02 AM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait what? I wasn't talking down to you at ALL.

Stop putting attitude in my mouth. I was trying to help you feel included. Dammit.

Okay, feel terrible about it. Whatever the fuck you have to do to get through your day.
posted by hippybear at 4:27 AM on June 18, 2011


No surprise to see Uruguay in the supporters list...
posted by bystander at 4:27 AM on June 18, 2011


hippybear: "Stop putting attitude in my mouth. I was trying to help you feel included. Dammit."

If you can't see that what you said was insensitive and condescending to a trans person then I'm probably not going to be able to persuade you without monopolising the thread, which I have no wish to do. Know that I have no personal squabble with you, but also know that the sublimation of trans rights into gay rights to the point of invisibility (and the point of, for example, celebrating a gay victory in a particular state while completely ignoring a smack-down for trans rights in the same state; occasionally the same school!) has been going on since Stonewall, and worldwide trans people have a lot further to go.

That's why this is a pretty big deal for us. It's a gain for LGB and T people at the same time. It's fucking awesome! Normally we get forgotten, and while I would be happy enough if that meant we still got our rights advanced at the same pace as LGB people, but we don't. I'd quite like to be under your umbrella, but I know from the last half-decade we'd still get wet.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:55 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised the U.S. was even allowed to back the resolution. Clearly the UN has a taste for irony.

I'm not sure why anyone would sneer at the US for backing this. It may not be the gay utopia that you would wish it, but it is a better world by many degrees than those faced by a lot of GLBT people around the globe. When it is a common and acceptable practice in some parts of the world to try and rape somebody straight, your quibbles over DADT and DOMA look churlish.
posted by londonmark at 5:43 AM on June 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you can't see that what you said was insensitive and condescending to a trans person then I'm probably not going to be able to persuade you without monopolising the thread, which I have no wish to do. Know that I have no personal squabble with you, but also know that the sublimation of trans rights into gay rights to the point of invisibility (and the point of, for example, celebrating a gay victory in a particular state while completely ignoring a smack-down for trans rights in the same state; occasionally the same school!) has been going on since Stonewall, and worldwide trans people have a lot further to go.

Okay, fair enough. Sorry if my words didn't come out right. I wish you'd address me as an insensitive ally rather than as some asshole who is trying to keep you down. You might even be able to educate me if you'd approach me properly. As it is, the way you corrected me at first has me feeling resentful and closed toward anything constructive you may have to share at this time. I have a pretty good track record here when speaking out about GLBT issues, and would prefer not to have my motivations and attitudes toward you turned against me and the causes I believe in.
posted by hippybear at 6:23 AM on June 18, 2011


So I get that Muslim countries just hate non-het-married sex in general. But African countries--were they so homo-averse before the missionaries ruined everything? Or is their homophobia cultural from before that?
posted by RedEmma at 6:30 AM on June 18, 2011


hippybear, come on man. She's not attacking you.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:30 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that's a good question, RedEmma.

By the way, I am not a grammar policeman, and think, in fact, that the word "whom" should fade away quicker than it probably will. But, anyway, Hilary Clinton is also confused about the word. Approving the resolution, she said that LGTB people shouldn't be discriminated against because of "who they are and whom they love." Oh well. 99% of English speakers are confused about who and whom. I could care less.
posted by kozad at 9:33 AM on June 18, 2011


A human rights council has 19 people on it who don't agree that GLBTQ violence (especially) and discrimination are wrong, wrong, WRONG???

Sounds to me like the deck has been stacked with some ringers. (see definition #1)
posted by Twang at 3:14 PM on June 18, 2011


How anyone in good conscience could vote against non-violence, equality, and justice, is simply beyond me. Either the vote is not in good conscience or there's some seriously convoluted definition of "good and just" at work that has no relationship to reality.

So let's say every nation who voted against this did so in "good conscience" (and I don't they did, but let's just say).

What could so profoundly warp someone's definition of "good and just?"

I've encountered a few things in my life that have that power: blind nationalism, blind adherence to ideology, fundamentalist religion. I'm trying to think of other things to add to that list . . . maybe brainwashing or something like the Stockholm Syndrome?

That's all I can come up with at the moment, but I suspect every possible answer that question is going to point to something deeply repugnant and stifling of the flourishing of human well-being.

Don't know where I was going with this. Maybe it's just my feeble and futile attempt to say FUCK YOU I SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU to any world power that would officially sanction a "no" vote on something like this.
posted by treepour at 7:28 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Redemma: But African countries--were they so homo-averse before the missionaries ruined everything? Or is their homophobia cultural from before that?
It's really complicated, and there is no single answer. Some African communities had same-sex practices before colonialism while others did not. Some communities see homosexuality as Western influence and that just further confuses the problem. This Guardian article offers a good summary of the complexity of the issue.
posted by thebestsophist at 6:47 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


But, anyway, Hilary Clinton is also confused about the word. Approving the resolution, she said that LGTB people shouldn't be discriminated against because of "who they are and whom they love." Oh well. 99% of English speakers are confused about who and whom. I could care less.

But...isn't that right? Isn't "whom" the objective case? I don't know about Clinton, but I'm confused.
posted by not that girl at 8:05 AM on June 21, 2011


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