In a vote that makes a mockery of the concept of human rights, the United Nations General Assembly voted to voted to removed "sexual orientation" from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. Driving the anti-gay vote were the majority of African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean nations.
For LGBT individuals around the world, in my view, we (and our straight allies) need to
- Demand that our home countries cut off all foreign aid to anti-gay nations
- Boycott all travel to such nations - Caribbean nations of the Bahamas and Jamaica could be particularly vulnerable to travel boycotts
- Avoid purchasing any products derived from them to the maximum extent practicable
In the case of Africa, we also need to spotlight the anti-gay hatred being fueled by Christianist organizations from the West.
Once again, I find myself believing that religion has truly become a leading force for evil in the world today. Societal stigma needs to become something not aimed at LGBT individuals, but rather aimed at those individuals, nations and religious organizations that fuel anti-gay bigotry and hatred.
The NewCivilRightsMovemement.com has details. Here are highlights:
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people were once again subject to the whims of homophobia and religious and cultural extremism this week, thanks to a United Nations vote that removed "sexual orientation" from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. In other words, the UN General Assembly this week voted to allow LGBT people to be executed without cause.
The U.K. gay rights and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said, "This is a shameful day in United Nations history. It gives a de facto green light to the on-going murder of LGBT people by homophobic regimes, death squads and vigilantes. They will take comfort from the fact that the UN does not endorse the protection of LGBT people against hate-motivated murder. "The UN vote is in direct defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees equal treatment, non-discrimination and the right to life. What is the point of the UN if it refuses to uphold its own humanitarian values and declarations?
"This vote is partly the result of a disturbing homophobic alliance between mostly African and Arab states, often inspired by religious fundamentalism. LGBT people in these countries frequently suffer severe persecution."
Bromley expressed great disappointment in losing all the Southern African countries on the vote, including Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Nambia and South Africa, the latter, whose domestic laws and record on LGBT civil rights have held great regard throughout the world.
Another region that unanimously supported the removal of sexual orientation from the resolution were the Carribean nations. Most noteworthy was the support from the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.
Middle East countries that principally observe the Muslim religion and its practices, as well as countries whose politics are dominated by Christian fundamentalists, generally oppose LGBT and women's rights at the UN. Even the United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Indeed, CEDAW has the most "reservations" filed by the most member states of any international human rights convention on record.
We need to make anti-gay bigotry have a real monetary price. For those who would like to voice their disappointment, here are e-mail addresses for the Bahamas, South Africa, and Jamaica tourism ministries. Tell these outlets that you and all your friends will be making a point to make their nations travel pariahs:
Jamaica: USA: email@example.com (1-800-526-2422); Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org, (800) 465-2624; Europe: (London) (44) 207-225-9090; (Germany) 49 (0) 2104 832974,
The Bahamas: email@example.com, 1-800-Bahamas
South Africa - Ministry head: +27 83 778 9923 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org