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UN officials call for decriminalization of gay sex

By | 2010-09-30T09:00:00-04:00 September 30th, 2010|News|

by Rex Wockner

International News Briefs

Top United Nations officials called Sept. 17 for the decriminalization of gay sex and transgender identity worldwide.
“No doubt deeply rooted cultural sensitivities can be aroused when we talk about sexual orientation,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Social attitudes run deep and take time to change. But cultural considerations should not stand in the way of basic human rights.”
Ban’s message was delivered in Geneva by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay.
In her own remarks, Pillay said there is nowhere in the world where LGBT people live entirely free from discrimination or the threat of harassment or attack.
“But in 78 countries, individuals still face criminal sanctions on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” she told the event, which was held on the sidelines of the 15th regular session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“If we are all entitled to the full range of human rights and to equal protection of the law, then I believe it can never be acceptable to deprive certain individuals of their rights, indeed to impose criminal sanctions on those individuals not because they have inflicted harm on others or pose a threat to the well-being of others but simply for being who they are, for being born with a particular sexual orientation or gender identity,” Pillay said.

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