Human Rights Council Releases LGBT Report

Published: December 15, 2011

The Human Rights Council (HRC) has released a report on LGBT discrimination prepared by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It was commissioned by an HRC resolution in June which was passed by a slight margin (out of 47 votes, 23 for and 19 against).

It is being touted as groundbreaking by gay activists but it really does not make any headway for LGBT rights. It merely parrots what other non-binding documents from within the human rights machinery have stated before.

Here are a couple of relevant quotations both of which refer to pronouncements by treaty bodies:

On gay marriage and civil unions:”[T]he obligation to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation extends to ensuring that unmarried same-sex couples are treated in the same way and entitled to the same benefits as unmarried opposite-sex couples.”

Regarding gender identity it expressed concern for the practice of countries who “often require, implicitly or explicitly, that applicants undergo sterilization surgery as a condition of recognition.”

Neither the OHCHR, nor the HRC, nor UN treaty bodies have the authority to make these assertions because they create new rights that are not already contained in any legally binding international instrument.

No human rights treaty recognizes LGBT rights. Over the last decade resolutions promoting broad LGBT rights have been rejected by UN member states. LGBT rights language has made it into UN documents only indirectly, in resolutions addressing matters such as extrajudicial killings and the death penalty, or through un-negotiated and non-binding statements. Even then, mentions have been sporadic and unsubstantial.

LGBT activists have found alternate routes to promote their agenda. This is has been made possible by the lack of accountability of many elements within the UN human rights machinery, most notably treaty monitoring bodies and special procedures.

Access to report available at link below –

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