UN Secretary General On The Fight Against Homophobia

The United Nation’s Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon has spoken out against homophobia as the UN commemorated Human Rights Day on December 11.

Speaking at a special event Leadership In The Fight Against Homophobia, the Secretary General highlighted that the first article of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights  proclaims that, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’

The Secretary General noted that while the UN has had success in combating racism, promoting gender equality and breaking down barriers in the area of disabilities, there was still considerable work to be done in the area of homophobia. In his speech Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said,

‘Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people are targeted, assaulted and sometimes killed.  Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide.

‘LGBT people suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, at clinics and hospitals, and in schools — the very places that should protect them.

‘More than 76 countries still criminalize homosexuality.  I am pained by this injustice.  I am here to again denounce violence and demand action for true equality.  Let me say this loud and clear:  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else.  They, too, are born free and equal.  I stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights.’

Also speaking at the event was singer Ricky Martin who thanked LGBT activists for their work. Martin described his life prior to coming out as living in fear and said that he enjoyed the coming out experience so much that he wished he could do it again.

Read Ban Ki Moon’s full speech here, and watch Ricky Martin speak below.


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