SA accused of blunting UN's gay rights moves

Published: March 20, 2011

Mazibuko Jara, a spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Equality Project lobby group, said he was worried that the government had not yet indicated whether it supported the UN proposal.

The resolution is to be delivered and approved at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, tomorrow.

Members of the council were asked to endorse the statement by Friday. South Africa was not among the 58 countries to have done so.

"We are disappointed that South Africa is not playing an active and leading role," Jara said.

"We hope that government can change its mind before the vote takes place.

"We are worried that South Africa has put an alternative resolution."

South Africa’s proposed resolution calls on the UN to establish an intergovernmental working group to study "new concepts such as sexual orientation" before they could be integrated into norm and standards of international law.

The proposal also says the intergovernmental working group should be the only UN platform to discuss issues of sexual orientation.

This has angered gay and lesbian rights lobby groups, with Jara saying such a proposal had the potential to reverse the gains made by previous UN resolutions on the protection of the rights of gay and lesbian communities.

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