December 9, 2011
For Immediate Release
Statement on Nigeria’s Pending Anti Gay Legislation
by Jabulani Chen Pereira, IGLHRC Africa Program Coordinator
Roberta Sklar, Press Secretary, IGLHRC
(United Nations, New York, Dec 9) We urge the President of Nigeria to lead his government in a manner that clearly abides with the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The impact of the decision by the Nigerian Senate to pass this Bill, know as the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 has placed Gays, Lesbians, Gender Variant and Gender non-conforming citizens in great fear for their safety and well-being. The Bill reaches far beyond the issue of the right to marry. It not only bans same sex marriage, it criminalizes witnessing of such marriages, affection expressed publicly between members of the same sex, and a ban on the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations. As the Bill is now before the Nigerian House of Representatives for a vote and the President for his signature, we call on all United Nations Member States to denounce the Bill. We urge the Government of Nigeria to permanently withdraw this Bill from Nigerian politics.
Nigeria is currently ranked 156 of 187 on the United Nations Development Index (HDI). Within Nigeria there are overwhelming challenges regarding poverty eradication, access to basic health, and the right of all citizens to enjoy education. The question: Why is the Government of Nigeria targeting same sex relationships as its area of focus? This is counter-productive and merely shifts attention from its State priorities in attaining the challenges set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is the states responsibility to ensure that its citizens have access and enjoy all the rights set as out in the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights.
This Bill is in serious breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Nigeria’s constitution that affords citizens the right to live in human dignity.
The specific restrictions of this bill and the banning of civil society organizations is a major step backwards in building an active, vibrant and tolerant society.
February 26, 2011
The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on the murderous Gaddafi regime. According to the BBC discussions are already taking place on forming a transitional government.
The motion passed was based ( and deviates very little from) this leaked draft resolution.
February 9, 2011
The good folks at CAISO|GSPOTTT have been trying to get an answer from the Government of Trinidad & Tobago as to why the country abstained in two separate UN 3rd Committee votes. As you may recall the matter revolved around a bloc of African and Muslim countries trying to remove a clause that protected persons from extrajudicial killing ( murder) as a result of their sexual orientation. After the protection was initially removed the United States stepped in and managed to turn the vote around.
What CAISO|GSPOTTT has discovered is that the government seems to be rather confused ( read: doesn’t know its ass from its elbow) on the matter:
Just in: Over the past seven weeks we’ve been following up repeatedly on your calls, emails, faxes and letters to our Min. of Foreign Affairs and United Nations mission. Our country abstained twice on UN votes regarding whether to condemn “extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions” (in more simple terms, murder) based on sexual orientation. We asked them to tell us why. After all, they had promised transparency and accountability in foreign policy.
Well, apparently our new Government isn’t sure whether we are opposed to killing gay people or not.
Read more in their Facebook note here.
As CAISO|GSPOTTT also notes this is the same government whose leader said ( just six days after being elected) :
Discrimination and unfairness does exist in our society but it affects so many rather just one community. It includes, but is certainly not limited to, racial bias.
Discrimination and prejudice is amorphous and has different sources and motivations: it may be based on gender, class, poverty, political affiliation, contact technology or who-yuh-know, locality, sexual orientation, victims of HIV and yes, race.
Read more here.
December 10, 2010
During a discussion on LGBT rights at the UN today the US showed its mettle by announcing that it will not simply accept the disgraceful vote that took place at the UN recently. The vote “left out any mention of sexual orientation from a resolution condemning the extrajudicial killing of vulnerable people worldwide” and , in fact , saw the reference removed for the first time in a decade. The motion was introduced by Benin and saw the support of most of the English Speaking Caribbean, most of Africa and nations such as Iran. Trinidad & Tobago chose to abstain rather than do the right thing.
At least the US plans to have the vote reversed.
Rice said she was “incensed” by a recent vote in a General Assembly committee that left out any mention of sexual orientation from a resolution condemning the extrajudicial killing of vulnerable people worldwide. Previous resolutions had included the mention.
The American ambassador said that the United States will sponsor a U.N. amendment to restore the reference to killings based on sexual orientation. “We’re going to stand firm on this basic principle,” she said.
Rights groups welcomed Rice’s announcement, and called on all U.N. member states to support the amendment.
“Words do have a meaning at the U.N.,” said Boris Dittrich of Human Rights Watch. “Reintroducing the reference to sexual orientation in the resolution could help put an end to the hateful killing of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Read more at CBS News here.