United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is encouraging people to be more vocal about tackling violence, and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity, particularly since culture, tradition and religion can “never justify the denial of basic rights.”
The UN Sec. Gen.’s pro-LGBT position was – yet again – stressed in a speech, with a video posted by the UN. He recently attended the International Conference on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Oslo, Norway, where he voiced his support for LGBT rights, while condemning governments around the world that refuse to tackle discrimination against LGBT people.
“We should all be outraged when people suffer discrimination, assault, and even murder, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We should all speak out when someone is arrested and imprisoned because of who they love, or how they look. This is one of the great, neglected human rights challenges of our time,” Ban Ki-moon said. “We must right these wrongs. Governments have a legal duty to protect everyone, but far too many still refuse to acknowledge the injustice of homophobic violence and discrimination.”
He also noted that some people will oppose change, and “they may invoke culture, tradition or religion to defend the status quo. Such arguments have been used to justify slavery, child marriage, rape in marriage and female genital mutilation. I respect culture, tradition and religion, but they can never justify the denial of basic rights.”
Ban Ki-moon promised his continued support in addressing LGBT issues.
“My promise to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the human family is this; I’m with you. I promise that, as the Secretary General of the United Nations, I will denounce attacks against you, and I will keep pressing leaders for progress,” he ended.