85 countries sign UN gay rights resolution

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More than 80 countries have signed a UN gay rights resolution to end homophobic violence and laws against gay sex.

The resolution was presented at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

It calls on states to “take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration released statements praising the resolution and calling on the UN to do more to tackle homophobia around the world.

Ms Clinton said: “Today, 85 countries from every region of the world joined together in a historic moment to state clearly that human rights apply to everyone, no matter who they are or whom they love.

“Countries around the world participated, including many that had never supported such efforts. And we hope that even more countries will step up.”
She added that the resolution was “an example of America’s commitment to human rights through dialogue, open discussion and frank conversation with countries we don’t always agree with on every issue”.

The White House said: “The president is proud of the work we have done to build international consensus on this critical issue and is committed to continuing our determined efforts to advance the human rights of all people.”