June 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
UN approves first-ever LGBT rights watchdog

Terry Stone, gay news, Washington Blade

The U.N. Human Rights Council on June 30, 2016, approved a resolution that would create the organization’s first-ever LGBT rights watchdog.

The U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday approved the creation of the organization’s first-ever position to combat anti-LGBT violence and discrimination around the world.

Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, South Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Macedonia, the U.K., Venezuela and Vietnam backed the resolution. Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Togo and the United Arab Emirates opposed it.

Botswana, Ghana, India, Namibia, the Philippines and South Africa abstained from the vote on the resolution that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay co-sponsored.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power on her Twitter page celebrated the vote.

Human Rights Campaign Global Director Ty Cobb in a statement described the resolution’s passage as “a significant milestone in the global effort for LGBTQ equality.” Yahia Zaidi, an LGBT activist from Algeria who currently lives in Brussels, made a similar point on his Facebook page.

“The Human Rights Council made a historic step towards equality,” he wrote.

The U.N. Human Rights Council in 2014 adopted a resolution against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.N. Security Council in a June 13 statement that condemned the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., specifically denounced anti-LGBT violence for the first time.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael //

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