Are LGBT People Human?

Posted on | June 27, 2011 by Tyler Ament |

The US Ambassador to the UN seems to think not. Speaking to a LGBT Pride Month reception at the US State Dept., Amb. Rice said that “for the first time in history” the UN adopted a resolution “dedicated to advancing the basic and fundamental human rights of LGBT persons.” If this is really true, then that means LGBT people just recently became human beings.

Amb. Rice further stated:

This [HRC resolution] was more than just another vote in Geneva. That vote marked the beginnings of universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights as all human beings and entitled to the same protections as all human beings. The United Nations is finally beginning to codify and enshrine the promise of equality for LGBT persons—and as it does so, the world will become a safer, more just, and more humane place for all.

My emphasis added.

This is some strong language, and a gross misstatement of historical facts. A brief Q&A with history and logic demonstrates this point, and clears up our fundamental question:

Q. If LGBT people are human beings, are they then entitled to any rights which apply to human beings universally?
A. Yes, of course.

Q. Were there any resolutions, statements, etc. that recognized the basic and fundamental rights of all human beings prior to the HRC resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity?
A. Yes, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was drafted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

Q. Now the clincher, are LGBT people *gulp* human?
A. Of course, they come from human beings.

Now that that is cleared up, we see that Amb. Rice’s statement is misleading. The HRC resolution was not “the beginnings of universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights as all human beings and entitled to the same protections as all human beings,” the UDHR was.

See the all-inclusive language of the UDHR here.

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Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.

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