United Nations Security Council members condemn anti-gay Orlando massacre

Members of the UN Security Council agreed a statement on the Orlando massacre that referenced sexuality without resistance from anti-LGBT states.

At least 49 people were killed and 53 were injured in the shooting at the Pulse gay club in Orlando over the weekend. With more than a hundred now confirmed dead or injured, the shooting is the worst in American history.

The 15 United Nations Security Council members met yesterday to discuss the tragedy – and passed a resolution referencing the homophobic nature of the attack.

The move is welcome given that even the most basic mentions of LGBT issues at the UN often encounter resistance from anti-LGBT states, with a Political Statement on HIV altered earlier this month to exclude mentions of LGBT people.

Reference to LGBT rights were stripped from the UN’s Global Goals last year, and have been omitted from many resolutions on human rights.

But members of the Security Council – which currently includes Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Senegal and Angola – did not object to the US-drafted statement on Orlando.

The statement reads: “The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, on 12 June 2016, targeting persons as a result of their sexual orientation, during which 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

“They expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of the United States. They wished a full recovery to those injured.

“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

“The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

“They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”

After the statement,  Deputy U.S. Ambassador David Pressman told the UN General Assembly that the UN should “unite” on the issue.

He said: “If we are united in our outrage by the killing of so many – and we are – let us be equally united around the basic premise of upholding the universal dignity of all persons regardless of who they love, not just around condemning the terrorists who kill them,”

“Dignity should not be so hard to protect.

“Here, it too often is. In this chamber, every time it is up for consideration, there is a pitched fight over the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in the one General Assembly resolution that references it – a resolution, I would note, that does nothing more than urges states to protect the right to life of all persons and investigate killings; there is a pitched fight over whether it is appropriate to include sexual orientation in that protection.”