Australia is one of 85 countries supporting a historic United Nations Human Rights Council statement calling for an end to violence and human rights violations against GLBTI people.
The move is significant as it is the first time the United States has thrown its support behind the global fight for gay rights, after failing to back similar UN calls in 2006 and 2008.
In a strong move in support of the UN statement, the US called for an end to discrimination against GLBT people worldwide.
“Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love,” US Ambassador to the Human Rights Council Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe said.
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) co-secretary general Renato Sabbadini welcomed the move.
“We welcome the statement … as a sign of the growing international, cross-regional consensus around the need to protect people persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Sabbadini said.
“The strength of this statement makes the defence of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans and intersex people on the basis of a mistaken sense of ‘tradition’ or ‘natural order’ more untenable than ever.
“Homophobia and transphobia are more and more acknowledged for what they truly are: the last crumbling pillars of a patriarchal order which belong with other dark pages of our past, like slavery and the Inquisition.”
In Australia, the Salt Shakers Christian group objected to the UN statement and urged Salt Shakers supporters to continue lobbying against any recognition of same-sex relationships in Australia.
“While it is right to say people should not get beaten up because of who they love, that ‘right’ already exists for everyone, as laws already exist against assault,” they wrote in an online newsletter.
“Besides, it is not only same-sex attracted people who get beaten up because of whom they love, heterosexual men also get beaten up by other heterosexual men because they love another bloke’s ex-girlfriend!”