UN Issues First Report on LGBT Human Rights

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The first ever United Nations report on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, released Dec. 15 by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, outlines “a pattern of human rights violations emerges that demands a response.”

Homophobic and transphobic violence has been recorded in every region of the world, and tends to be especially vicious compared to other bias-motivated crimes, the report finds, citing data indicating that homophobic hate crimes often include “a high degree of cruelty and brutality.”

In the report, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, calls on countries to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, abolish the death penalty for consensual sexual relations, make the age of consent the same for heterosexual and homosexual conduct, and enact comprehensive anti-discrimination laws.

In 76 countries it remains illegal to engage in same-sex conduct and in at least five countries – Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen – is punishable by death.