LGBT leaders from
around the world said Monday that they passed a
"historic" resolution this past weekend in Seattle during
the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference. The
document calls on "all nations and governments to
adopt a vocal, clear, and consistent policy on
international human rights abuses against lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender people that includes a call
on other countries to abolish sodomy laws."
Attendees, some of whom traveled from as far
away as Sri Lanka and Poland, vowed to continue to
bring attention to the horrific record of some
countries on this issue. For instance:
--There are reports that in Iran more than
4,000 citizens have been executed since 1979 because
they are gay or lesbian.
--In Malaysia "carnal intercourse against
the order of nature" is punishable by up to 20 years'
imprisonment and whipping.
--Being gay in Saudi Arabia can lead to
jail terms or even beheadings.
The conference is a program of the Gay and
Lesbian Leadership Institute, the nonprofit sister
organization of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. The
leaders also approved a resolution to "encourage all LGBT
legislators and all other LGBT public officials to be open
and honest about their sexual orientation or gender
identity or expression."
"These resolutions reflect the quality of the
discussions that occurred and the seriousness of the
issues discussed," said Chuck Wolfe, president of
the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. "As the LGBT
community continues to gain voices at all levels of
policy-making and implementation, it's incumbent that
we continue to speak up for those whose voices are
silenced in countries that deny them rights simply
because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender."