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UN Expert Vitit Muntarbhorn Warns Against LGBTQ Rights Violations

"More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied," believes Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN' first independent expert on the rights of LGBT

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A protester to support all students sign from National Center for transgender equality, Source : Wikimedia
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United Nations, October 28, 2017 : Immediate action is needed to stop human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, a UN human rights expert has said.

“It is unconscionable that people with an actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression different from a particular social norm are targeted for violence and discrimination in many parts of the world,” said Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN’ first independent expert on the rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.

“LGBT people are suffering a crucible of egregious violations, including killings, rape, mutilation, torture, arbitrary detention, abduction, harassment, physical and mental assaults.

“They are subjected to lashings and forced surgical interventions, bullying from a young age, incitement to hatred and pressures leading to suicide,” he told the UN General Assembly on Friday.

“More than 70 countries around the world today still criminalise same-sex relations, and in some of them the death penalty may be applied,” Xinhua quoted Muntarbhorn as saying.

Even where there is no law criminalising consensual same-sex relations, laws on public decency, public order and social peace are used to incriminate people under the umbrella of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he noted.

Muntarbhorn who is from Thailand said all laws criminalising same-sex relationships should be removed from the statute books, and no other legal measures should be used to target sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for the purpose of consolidating power and suppressing dissent.

It was also imperative to remove the death penalty for all cases related to the criminalization of sexual orientation, gender identity and related gender expression, he stressed.

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“There is a need for effective anti-discrimination measures covering both the public and private spheres. Not only formal but substantive, not only de jure but also de facto, in addition to the building of a community open to understanding and respecting sexual and gender diversity,” said the expert.

To be effective, anti-discrimination frameworks should provide for effective measures to investigate alleged violations, redress for victims and accountability for alleged perpetrators, he said.

Muntarbhorn also expressed concern that human rights defenders were being increasingly targeted for their work in raising issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. (IANS)

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Decriminalization of LGBTQ Should Not be Misinterpreted

The nearby objects also receive intense heat. So, let’s play cautiously with the fire of sex.

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Decriminalization of LGBTQ should not be misinterpreted

By Salil Gewali

For scientists their each new day is filled with wonder. It’s no amazement that their pace of understanding a species is way behind with the new creatures they just encounter the next day. Some creatures have eyes on the tail while some breath through their skin. Some never die even if you cut them into half, rather they become two and four! Their behaviors, their survival adventures and their innate instincts are amazingly diversified.

Hence one is too surprised why it took us until 21st century to decriminalize LGBTQ. How do we have authority and competency to see flaw in God creation? Frankly speaking, we have not “fully” understood even one petal of a flower and how and why it comes into being with such beauty, fragrance, shape and size. Therefore, it’s always good on our part to just practice to say “wow” in amazement. That we can start right from each morning when we open our eyes. Because we individuals have not even been able to understand our “own body” and its incredible structures and its endless functions that help keep us hale and hearty.

LGBTQ
One wonders how we shall make up to our marginalized LGBTQ folks now!

Therefore, it’s total foolishness to expect others to fit in with our lines of thought and behavioral orientation. Due to the dogmatic rigidity to accept LGBTQ, the creation of God, we have clearly committed a great sin. We have hurt them all through. Not just that, we have belittled their existence on this planet. Ethically, there will not be a greater offence than this. This way we have only challenged the creation of God. One wonders how we shall make up to our marginalized LGBTQ folks now!

 Yes, what happens within the confinement of four-wall is none of anyone’s business. Sex is always private affairs which is, in fact, the culmination of love with mutual submission.  Of course, one has to be careful differentiating between good and bad. True, love has made this world beautiful, nay, livable. Of course, what could be worse is if those private activities are brought to the open for our selfish ends. Then we cannot rule out potential crises so far as healthy co-existence in the society is concerned. Well, if the current media is to be believed then, with LGBTQ decriminalization, it seems, the court has also given “licenses” to entertainment houses to trade on it! This will only contaminate the society. 

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The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. wikimedia commons

But I’m afraid within the current trend controlled by certain non-spiritual forces, the sensitive thing like sex is reeking to high heaven. In a span of a couple of years we are likely to see movies/features on LGBT flooding the society which are portrayed in such as ways that encourage one to indulge in “unhealthy” acts and thoughts. Is not taking out the burning wood from the “fireplace” and get it around a dangerous practice? That fiery wood in hand can cause other to burn when the embers get fallen down. The nearby objects also receive intense heat. So, let’s play cautiously with the fire of sex. The heat of the fire can burn an object but the heat of sex can burn the very fabric of the society. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.