[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] voted on Thursday in favor of appointing an independent expert to report on and investigate worldwide violence and discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The appointment passed [NYT report] by a vote of 23 to 18 with 6 abstentions. Supporters of the initiative referenced the recent violence against LGBT individuals in Orlando, Florida, and stressed that the UN must give a voice to those discriminated for their sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Nigeria, argued that such an initiative was religiously or culturally motivated and does not properly reflect the views of the entire UNHRC. British Ambassador Julian Braithwaite [official profile] responded to opponentsby stating that a vote against the initiative was a vote for discrimination and violence.
LGBT individuals continue to face discrimination throughout the world. Abuses toward the LGBT population are human rights abuses impacting society as a whole, said 12 UN agencies in a joint statement released [JURIST report] in September. The commission found that while LGBT rights have increased since the UN’s first study, there remains widespread discrimination and violence towards these individuals. In 2014 the UN human rights office criticized a Singapore Supreme Court decision [JURIST reports] upholding a law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adult men. Also that year the UN released a video calling for an end to LGBT discrimination [JURIST report] in all countries.