Only a few months ago, the United Nations appointed their first-ever independent LGBT rights expert, but a firestorm of criticism from countries in the Middle East, Africa, China, and Russia nearly brought the appointment to a halt. Fortunately, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council will allow Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand to serve as an expert.
Botswana’s UN Ambassador, Charles Ntwaagae, sponsored a resolution to deny the position by claiming that the Human Rights Council was overstepping its boundaries by getting involved in national ‘matters’ concerning sexuality and behavior instead of focusing on discrimination based on race, sex, or religion.
Support came from North America, Europe, and South America with a vote of 84 to 77 with 12 abstentions to ensure that Muntarbhorn can continue his work protecting LGBTQ people around the world. [GSN]