Sonke commends Minister Mashabane and Ambassador Minty for voting YES to Resolution on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression

Sonke applauds South Africa, DIRCO Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Ambassador Minty for standing up for equality and human rights and voting YES in support of the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (#SOGI) last week.

This is important leadership from South Africa to help address violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The Daily Maverick reports that Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty, South Africa’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said that South Africa’s history and struggle against all forms of discrimination “has therefore made us, as a people and a country, committed to the principle that no person should be subjected to discrimination or violence based on race, class, sex, religion, gender and as is the case with this resolution, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The resolution survived seven hostile amendments seeking to strip it of all references to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Human Rights Watch explains that “the resolution asks the high commissioner for human rights to update a 2012 study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (A/HRC/19/41), with a view to sharing good practices and ways to overcome violence and discrimination. The resolution expresses grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination in all regions of the world against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. This resolution demonstrates that this issue remains on the agenda of the Human Rights Council and sends a message of support to people around the world who experience this type of violence and discrimination, the organizations said.”

Ambassador Minty says this will help South Africa too as despite our laws, South Africans are still subjected to discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sonke Gender Justice applauds all the countries who voted YES for equality and non-discrimination – we need voices against violence, hate, intolerance and discrimination based on gender, identity and sexual orientation.

US Secretary of State John Kerry says “the community of nations made an historic statement in support of LGBT rights, which are human rights” by adopting the second-ever United Nations resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons.

— by Czerina Patel