President Barack Obama and Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton on Friday cheered passage of a United Nations
resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and
The U.S.-backed nonbinding resolution
was approved in the 47-member Human Rights Council with a 23 to 19
vote, with 3 abstentions.
Put forward by South Africa, the
resolution commissions a global inquiry into the discrimination and
mistreatment of LGBT people.
Obama called the resolution's passage a
“significant milestone in the long struggle for [LGBT] equality.”
“The United States stands proudly
with those nations that are standing up to intolerance,
discrimination, and homophobia,” the president said in a statement.
“As the United Nations begins to codify and enshrine the promise
of equality for LGBT persons, the world becomes a safer, more
respectful, and more humane place for all people.”
“This represents a historic moment to
highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on
who they are and who they love,” Clinton said.
“All over the world, people face
human rights abuses and violations because of their sexual
orientation or gender identity, including torture, rape, criminal
sanctions, and killing. 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. The United States will continue to stand up for human
rights wherever there is inequality and we will seek more commitments
from countries to join this important resolution,” she added.
The measure was backed by the European
Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries. African and
Islamic countries, however, condemned the resolution, saying it had
“nothing to do with fundamental human rights.”