Everyone has been busily tweeting and blogging about the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but here’s another big win for you. Remember that story about the UN resolution against executing people because of their sexual orientation? Well, the vote happened, and we won, fairly decisively.
The original committee vote in November had only 70 countries in favor of explicitly defending people on the grounds of sexual orientation and 79 against. Yesterday’s vote in the General Assembly saw 93 countries in favor, and only 55 against. Thanks are due to South Africa and Colombia, whose decisions to join us will have influenced many smaller countries in their local regions. Thanks are due also to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Ambassador Susan Rice from the USA, and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon of the UN, for leading the charge on behalf of gay and lesbian people. Further details here.
I note also that, despite the demise of DADT, being found to be a trans person is still cause for discharge from the US military. Also, despite considerable lobbying by human rights groups, the UN refused to extend specific protection from execution to trans people. I have no intention of blaming this on the evils of foreigners, on the UN as an institution, or using it as an excuse for Islamophobia (I’m looking at you, Guardian). I know that my own government and other religions are equally culpable.