We’re coming up to the International Day Against Homophobia, on 17 May, and this year the campaign will centre on procuring a UN resolution to decriminalise homosexuality.
Over on the 10 Downing Street website, you can sign a petition asking the UK government to push for a resolution, and the IDAHO website has similar information on what looks to be every country.
The day is the brainchild of a French activist, Louis-Georges Tin. Being gay is still illegal in 75 countries. Here’s what he had to say about how realistic it is that such a resolution could pass:
Many people believe such a resolution is beyond reach. I personally don’t. Why? Because there is already U.N. jurisprudence in our favor. In 1994, Mr. Toonen, a citizen of Tasmania, who had been condemned for same-sex relationships, won his case in what was then the U.N. Commission on Human Rights—it said his arrest was a breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the right of privacy. So we just ask the U.N. to extend this jurisprudence to other countries—75 in the world!—where same-sex relationships are still forbidden. There’s recent evidence that this is not as utopian a project as it might seem at first glance: In October this year, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that the imprisonment in Cameroon of 11 men who’d been caught in a raid on a gay bar on charges of homosexuality was “an arbitrary deprivation of liberty” that violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That’s encouraging.
London mayor Ken Livingstone also supports the proposal.
(via Desperate Kingdoms)