Secretary General Ban Ki-moon slammed LGBT discrimination at the first ever high-level UN meeting on LGBT discrimination this week, calling it an “outrage” that so many face prejudice for who they are.
He said: “Every year, hundreds are killed, thousands are badly hurt, and millions live their lives under a shadow of discrimination and disapproval. That is an outrage. Many Governments refuse to acknowledge human rights abuses against LGBT people – or accept responsibility for ending them. Several countries are bucking the tide of history with draconian new punishments for being gay – or even just talking about being gay.”
“I especially worry for children and youth who are bullied at school, thrown out of their homes or living on the streets. These abuses will only end when countries take concrete steps to protect people.”
Ban Ki-moon openly admitted that he didn’t know much about LGBT discrimination when he first joined the UN, he eventually “learned by listening”.
He continued: “I ask those who use religious or cultural arguments to deprive LGBT people of their human rights: what do you gain by making others less equal? Is your religion or culture so weak that the only way you can sustain it is by denying others their basic rights? There is no room in our 21st century for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
He didn’t stop at general criticisms, however, he even singled out countries like Egypt, Uganda and Russia for their extreme anti-LGBT laws: “No government, no society, no individual, no circumstance should attempt to dictate who you love. A gay couple can get married today and fired in the afternoon. The Orlando shooting this summer showed us that LGBT people are still targeted in the U.S.—as they are throughout the world.”