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FOR THE 1ST TIME UN BACKS GAY RIGHT

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Human Rights Council narrowly approves resolution expressing "grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination"
GENEVA - The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever Friday, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. and other backers and decried by some African and Muslim countries.
The declaration was cautiously worded, expressing "grave concern" about abuses because of sexual orientation and commissioning a global report on discrimination against gays.
  • But activists called it an important shift on an issue that has divided the global body for decades, and they credited the Obama administration's push for gay rights at home and abroad.
  • "This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love," US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement.
Following tense negotiations, members of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favour of the declaration put forward by South Africa, with 23 votes in favour and 19 against. Backers included the US, the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries.
Those against included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. China, Burkina Faso and Zambia abstained, Kyrgyzstan didn't vote and Libya was suspended from the rights body earlier.
Source: Agency
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