Just read on MeFi about the "UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity"
, which states the following (bureaucratic bits removed):
1. We reaffirm the principle of universality of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whose 60th anniversary is celebrated this year, Article 1 of which proclaims that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights";
2. We reaffirm that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status..;
3. We reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity;
4. We are deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
5. We are also disturbed that violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatisation and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that these practices undermine the integrity and dignity of those subjected to these abuses;
6. We condemn the human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever they occur, in particular the use of the death penalty on this ground, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention and deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health;
10. We call upon all States and relevant international human rights mechanisms to commit to promote and protect human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity;
11. We urge States to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.
12. We urge States to ensure that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are investigated and perpetrators held accountable and brought to justice;
13. We urge States to ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders, and remove obstacles which prevent them from carrying out their work on issues of human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity.GUESS WHICH SOLE MAJOR WESTERN NATION FAILED TO SIGN IT.
Yes, the one I live in.
66 countries did
sign it, including 6 nations in Africa, several in South and Central America, and most of Europe.
Japan signed it.
57 members of the Islamic Conference issued a joint statement opposing it. The representative of the Vatican made a statement opposing it too, of course.
Other countries that failed to support it include China and Russia. Woohoo! Great company there.
I don't think I'd heard about this before, but I was probably paying more attention to the election at the time.
Closer to home, I hope "don't ask, don't tell" really is going out the window as promised soon. I'm just afraid the economic problems are going to derail social progress for a while, but who knows, maybe things can be combined somehow.