Saturday, June 18, 2011

UN Vote At Least Tries

In a ¾-hearted effort, the United Nations pretty much supported LGBT folk. At this point, marriage is a very quiet whisper in the background of the resolution it passed by 23-19.

Likewise, our lukewarm-on-civil-rights President Barack Obama issued his bland support message.

Well, the UN vote really is something. It says flat out that discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation is a big problem, that we need to work together to stop it. It sets up a commission to gather data worldwide and report by the end of December. The inference, of course, is that member states will chop or whittle away at the offenses and crimes and bad laws.

Our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recapped the resolution as, "Today's landmark resolution affirms that human rights are universal. People cannot be excluded from protection simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity." Obama's statement similarly included, "This marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights -- and entitled to the same protections -- as all human beings."

So there you have it, good intentions finally wafted and lofted internationally. Domestically, Obama and Clinton pay lip service to LGBT rights but don't pledge to trash the DOMA, demand comity nationwide over marriages, or anything at all beyond supporting stopping crazy violence.

Yet, many biggies, totalitarian and fundamentalist types and oppose even such a tepid scrubbing of the obvious. Those opposed or abstaining included:
  • Against - Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Uganda
  • Looking at ceiling - China, Burkina Faso, Kyrgyzstan and Zambia
So the resolution calls for such as "...promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in fair and equal manner." It does specify or directly hint at marriage equality. Instead, in a first-things-first, carefully worded take, it wants to ID and stop violence based on hate and fear of sexual orientation.

Such moves are, as we used to say, way cool, yet not good enough or moral enough or civil-rights oriented enough. This is a decent start, long overdue.

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