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One Year On: The United Nations LGBT Advocacy Campaign 'Free And Equal' - VIDEO

The welcome UN Human Rights LGBT campaign

On July 26th, 2013, the United Nations Human Rights office launched "Free and Equal," an unprecedented global public education campaign aiming to combat violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people around the world.

Free&equalThe campaign has included a Bollywood gay marriage video The Welcome and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

What's happened since the campaign's launch?

Watch the video to find out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Documentary 'Golf Alpha Yankee' Exposes Extreme Anti-Gay Laws In Iran: WATCH

Golf alpha yankee

The documentary Golf Alpha Yankee exposes extremely harsh anti-gay laws in Iran.

Homosexuality in Iran is legally punishable with imprisonment, torture and execution.

Golf Alpha Yankee "provides an intimate immersion into the world of LGBT people from Iran, who were forced to flee their home country, and are now waiting in limbo in conservative Turkey as asylum seekers with the United Nations. They hope to receive resettlement in the west, where they may one day be free to love without penalty."

A Kickstarter campaign has been set up to fund the post-production costs of the documentary

Watch the trailer for Golf Alpha Yankee, AFTER THE JUMP...

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LGBTQ Families Dealt Major Blow at the United Nations

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s “Protection of the Family” resolution passed Thursday has the potential to become the groundwork for LGBT discrimination under international law. Uganda, Egypt, and Russia are among the countries responsible for the creation of the resolution, many of whom have explicitly anti-LGBT track records. This comes only a few weeks after the U.N. unanimously elected Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutsea, an ardent opponent of LGBT rights, as president for its 69th session.

Flag_of_the_United_Nations.svgThough the resolution does not limit its definition of a singular family to those consisting of one man and one woman, attempts at re-wording the language to be more inclusive have been blocked despite being supported by France, Ireland, and Chile. In not clearly articulating a recognition of different kinds of families, “Protection of the Family” carries the potential of being used to ignore families headed by same-sex couples, single parents, extended family members, or non-biological legal guardians.

The resolution is being held up as proof that there is global opposition to what is often perceived as a bullishly pro-LGBT rights agenda being led by the bulk of Europe and the United States.

“The defeat of various forms of the family demonstrates that the UN is weary of these kinds of debates,” Said Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. “Most of the member states would like to move on to issues that concern the whole world and not just elites in the [global] North.”

“It is a travesty for the UN to ignore reality,” said Julie de Rivero, director of advocacy for Human Rights Watch with the Human Rights Council. “Insinuating that different type of families don’t exist can do nothing but harm the children and adults around the world who live in those families.”

Read the resolution below:

Resolution on Protection of the Family by jlfeder


United Nations Calls on Gay World Cup Players to Come Out

United Nations Human Rights commissioner Navi Pillay said Monday that gay soccer players at the World Cup in Brazil should come out and declare their sexuality to help foster global LGBT visibility and equality.

Navi pillayReuters reports:

"I encourage players, sports people to declare their sexual orientation without fear," she told reporters in Geneva.

"That's the only way they will find the right to sexual orientation accepted. They are role models, it's important to send this message to their fans as well," Pillay said, adding that it was "a shame, in this day and age", that people "had to hide who they really are".

Pillay also warned that governments bidding for major sporting competitions need to give more thought to how their bid would affect human rights in their country. 

"They risk becoming hubs of human rights violations, including misuse of public funds, child labour, forced evictions, and demolition and the sexual exploitation of human beings including children in the surge of tourism," Pillay said, without naming any particular city.

The UN's concerns over the intersection of human rights and sporting events will likely continue into the foreseeable future as FIFA’s decision to select Qatar as host country for the 2022 World Cup has come under heavy criticism – at least in part due to the country’s laws making homosexuality illegal.

There are currently no openly gay players participating in this year’s World Cup, although a few former athletes such as Germany’s Thomas Hitzlsperger and our own Robbie Rogers played in the World Cup before coming out. 


Ugandan Foreign Minister Who Called Gays 'Disgusting' Elected President of UN General Assembly: VIDEO

Kutesa

Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa was elected President of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the AP reports:

"I have never been found corrupt," Kutesa told reporters immediately after the election. "I'm not homophobic, and I believe that I'm (the right) person to lead this organization for the next session."

Two Democratic senators from New York criticized Kutesa's appointment, and more than 9,000 people signed an online petition urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. member states to block him from taking up the post. It cites his implication in corruption scandals at home and his alleged role in the enactment of the anti-gay law.

AFP adds:

The US-based Human Rights Campaign, which promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights, has called his tenure "a black mark on the United Nations' commitment to protect the human rights of all individuals.

"It's deeply disturbing that a man who calls LGBT people 'disgusting' and played such a critical role in the promotion and passage of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act is assuming this post," the group said on its website.

The bill, signed by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in February, calls for "repeat homosexuals" to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and obliges citizens to denounce gay individuals to the authorities.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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North Korea State Media: Gay UN Official Is 'Disgusting Old Lecher'

Michael Kirby is the openly gay chairperson of the United Nations agency that just published a report which found harsh human rights violations in North Korea. Just two short months after the announcement of the investigation's findings, the country has issued a personal attack on Kirby.

_73038632_de27The criticism comes in the form of an outrageous homophobic editorial published by state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) which not only blasts Kirby, but homosexuality in general.

According to The Washington Post, it reads in part:

As for Kirby who took the lead in cooking the "report", he is a disgusting old lecher with a 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality. He is now over seventy, but he is still anxious to get married to his homosexual partner. This practice can never be found in the DPRK boasting of the sound mentality and good morals, and homosexuality has become a target of public criticism even in Western countries, too. In fact, it is ridiculous for such gay to sponsor dealing with others' human rights issue.

KCNA went on to describe Kirby and the other authors of the UN report as "dirty swindlers." Read the full North Korean editorial here.

The Washington Post notes the significance of North Korean state media's reference to homosexuality:

...the use of homophobic insults seems exceptional, even for North Korea: A quick search of KCNA appears to show that this is the first time the agency has used the word "homosexual" since the agency went online. Officially,  homosexuality doesn't exist in North Korea, and there appear to be no laws on the books banning it.  In the rare moments it is acknowledged, it is viewed negatively. In an article for NK News published last year, Oliver Hotham wrote that many North Koreans have little knowledge of homosexuality, and it is often viewed as a foreign concept.

Read the full UN report here.


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