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Human Rights Council 32, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity statement, 30 June 2016.
UK urges all member states to support the SOGI resolution at the Human Rights Council. End violence and discrimination against the LGBTI community now.
We support the EU statement.
This resolution creates a mandate for the UN to address violence and discrimination. I repeat, violence and discrimination. A vote against this resolution is a vote against the very spirit of this Council.
This Council regularly – and rightly – passes resolutions on racism, women and children. Yet, on this issue, we often hear of culture and tradition as reasons to justify violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Let me be clear. This resolution does not ask countries to change their legislation. It does not talk about same sex marriage, or seek to impose the values of one country to another. This resolution merely reflects the fundamentals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind”.
By voting against this resolution you are voting to block the UN from trying to stop violence and discrimination. How is that acceptable? This affects people in this room, and people in my team who are LGBT. Are you saying it is OK to discriminate against them based on their sexual orientation and gender identity? To hit, torture, or possibly kill them? Because that is what you are supporting, if you vote against this resolution.
Violence and discrimination has to stop. And the UN should be allowed to play its part in preventing violence and discrimination. For all these reasons, the UK strongly urges all other states to support this resolution. I urge you to remember the persons who depend on this resolution – brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers.
Please vote in favour of this resolution to stop violence and discrimination.
Thank you Mr President.