Homosexual, bisexual & transgender persons
International declarations on LGBT rights
Rights for homosexual/bisexual/transgender people worldwide:
The United Nations' UN General Assembly proclaimed the
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 1948-DEC-10.1,2
This document was published at a time when homosexuality
was regarded as a mental illness by most therapists, as a criminal act by
most governments, and as the ultimate sin by many faith groups. Understanding of transgender/transsexual
persons was then in its infancy.
Since then, at least in North America and western Europe, there have been enormous changes in the acceptance of
homosexuality and bisexuality by therapists and the general public -- with the exception of
social and religious conservatives. transgender and transsexual persons appear
to be the next groups surfacing to seek human rights in the U.S. and Canada.
There have been many laws at the municipal, state/province, and country
level that have guaranteed equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations.
There have even been a few for transgender persons and transsexuals. Unfortunately the UDHR has never been updated
3 In fact, as 2008 drew to a close,
"... not a
single international human rights convention explicitly acknowledges the human
rights of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual] people."
This section will discuss deficiencies in the UDHR and new attempts to
establish an international convention that includes all sexual minorities.
is not a simple task where the reactions of the world's governments towards sexual minorities
||Selling them a marriage license and congratulating them on their upcoming
||Arresting, charging, trying them in court, and executing them. Same-sex sexual behavior is a capital crime in six countries -- all predominately Muslim.
So far, all the world has been able to accomplish is a single, non-binding UN
resolution passed by a minority of the countries of the world. Still, a
non-binding resolution is better than no resolution at all. It is a major
accomplishment and gives hope to LGBTs for the future.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
The UDHR text is at:
The UDHR text is available in other languages at:
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most universal document
in the world," Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at:
Peter Tatchell, "A watershed for gay rights," Guardian (UK), 2008-DEC-08,
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Copyright © 2009 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2011-JUN-18
Author: B.A. Robinson