The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has added its support to a recent United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that affirmed the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to choose their own sexual identity.
PLP leader Perry Christie indicated at a press conference this week that the opposition supports such “progressive policies.”
“I think from our point of view we understand the sensitivity of this matter,” said Christie, adding that the PLP has “always been committed to progressive policies — policies that emphasize our commitment to human rights.”
Christie said the resolution, which calls for an end to discrimination against gays worldwide, is humane and therefore the party is in favor of it.
Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette last week said that The Bahamas also supports the resolution “in principle.”
The resolution, which narrowly passed in the council in Geneva, Switzerland, expressed “grave concern” about discrimination against gays throughout the world and affirmed that freedom to choose sexuality is a human right.
The Bahamas does not have a seat on the council.
The PLP has no difficulty agreeing with the government on the issue, Christie stated.
“The (PLP) is always committed to ensuring that our policies and our commitments are consistent with the obligations of international agencies and most certainly respecting the rule of law,” he said.
The resolution passed in the Human Rights Council also asked the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a study by the end of the year that would point out “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in all regions of the world.”
Twenty-three countries on the Human Rights Council supported the resolution, 19 voted against it and three countries abstained.
The resolution was the first of its kind passed by the council. It was fiercely opposed by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, among other countries.
The United States supported the resolution, which also asked that the study be conducted before the end of the year to look at how international laws can “be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
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