This Monday, December 20th, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on whether to include protection for LGBT people in a crucial resolution on extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings. This resolution urges States to thoroughly and promptly investigate all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, even on the basis of sexual orientation.
This is extremely important because it is the only UN resolution ever to include explicit reference to sexual orientation.
The resolution passed successfully for the past ten years. However in a UN committee just last month, a number of States proposed to remove the reference to sexual orientation. Shockingly, this amendment passed. Seventy-nine States voted to remove the reference to sexual orientation, 70 supported its retention, and 43 States abstained or did not vote. This amounted to a serious defeat for LGBT rights at the UN.
On Monday, we have an opportunity to turn this around. States will have the chance to restore the reference to sexual orientation – and hopefully extend it to also include gender identity – when the resolution is voted on by the full UN General Assembly.