UN human rights office unveils pro-LGBTI business standards

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.N. human rights office on Tuesday announced a series of standards for businesses to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

One of the five standards states businesses “should develop policies, exercise due diligence and remediate adverse impacts to ensure they respect human rights of LGBTI people.”

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Nikki Haley: U.S. ‘disturbed’ by gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Monday said the U.S. remains “disturbed” by the arrests of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” she said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

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First-ever UN LGBT rights watchdog seeks ‘open’ dialogue

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.N.’s first-ever LGBT and intersex rights watchdog says one of his main objectives is “to open the dialogue” around issues that relate to sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I look at this process as an engaging process with all actors,” Vitit Muntarbhorn told the Washington Blade on Jan. 25 during a telephone interview from Geneva where he was holding a two-day series of consultations on LGBT and intersex issues at the U.N. Human Rights Council. “The door’s always open.”

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UN LGBT expert vows broad investigations into abuses

By : Wire Report
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BANGKOK (AP) – The first-ever U.N. independent expert selected to examine violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has vowed to forge ahead with wide-ranging investigations despite formidable opposition to his appointment in a U.N. vote.

“This mandate will cover every country under the sun and under the moon,” Vitit Muntarbhorn said at a LGBT conference in Bangkok Nov. 30. “There can never be a political or legal vacuum in terms of protecting people.”

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Gay rights supporters win UN victory to keep UN LGBT expert

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Supporters of gay rights won a victory at the United Nations Nov. 21 when an African attempt to suspend the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity failed.

African nations had urged the General Assembly’s human rights committee to delay implementation of a resolution adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to determine “the legal basis” for the expert’s mandate. They also sought to suspend the expert, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who was appointed on Sept. 30 and has started his work.

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African nations seek to get rid of 1st UN LGBTQ expert

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) – African nations are seeking to initially suspend and then get rid of the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Botswana’s U.N. Ambassador Charles Ntwaagae said Nov. 4 that African nations want the General Assembly to delay consideration of a Human Rights Council resolution adopted on June 30 that authorized the appointment of an expert to monitor LGBT rights in order to discuss “the legality of the creation of this mandate.”

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United Nations appoints first expert on LGBT violence and discrimination

By : Wire Report
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Vitit Muntarbhorn

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Human Rights Council has appointed international human rights expert Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand as the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said his appointment on Friday “made history” and “will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world.”

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LGBT groups excluded from UN AIDS meeting

By : Wire Report
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UpRisings_WorldAidsDayNew York (AP) — Gay, transgender and other groups blocked from participating in a high-level U.N. meeting on AIDS represent the populations most affected by the disease and should take center-stage at the event, advocates said June 7.

Nearly two dozen civil society organizations from five continents that provide services for LGBT communities, intravenous drug users and others have been denied access to the three-day General Assembly meeting starting Wednesday at the request of Russia, Cameroon, Tanzania and 51 Muslim countries.

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Kenneth Cole named international goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS

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United Nations (AP) – Fashion designer and AIDS activist Kenneth Cole was named an international goodwill ambassador June 7 by the head of the U.N.’s AIDS-fighting organization.

The appointment by UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe came on the eve of the U.N. General Assembly’s high-level meeting on ending AIDS on June 8 -10.

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The United Nations is using Sarasota’s National Stamp Exhibition to launch its first ever LGBT stamp series

By : Jeremy Williams
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UN Free & Equal Stamps series

UN Free & Equal Stamps series

The United Nations Postal Administration announced that they will issue a series of six stamps which commemorates the fight for LGBT rights at the Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition Feb. 5.

The stamp series is a part of the UN’s Free & Equal campaign which looks to spread global education on LGBT equality and to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, according to their website.

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ISIS claims to kill 30 men for sodomy, gay rights group tells UN

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility for killing at least 30 people for sodomy, the head of an international gay rights organization said Aug. 24 at the first-ever U.N. Security Council meeting spotlighting violence and discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

“It’s about time, 70 years after the creation of the U.N., that the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage,” said U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, who organized the meeting with Chile’s U.N. envoy. “This represents a small but historic step.”

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UN music video on LGBT rights features Indian actress Celina Jaitly

By : Wire Report
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United Nations says a Bollywood-inspired United Nations music video promoting equal rights for gays, lesbians, transgender people and bisexuals has been watched by more than one million people online and millions more on television since its release on April 30.

Charles Radcliffe of the U.N. Human Rights Office said July 15 that for the United Nations the novel approach has “paid off.”

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