All 193 United Nations member-states were invited to a Monday meeting in New York aimed at addressing the violence directed at LGBT people by the extremist group ISIS — the first Security Council meeting ever held on LGBT rights.
The meeting was hosted by Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., and her Chilean counterpart, Ambassador Christian Barros. Two people, one from Iraq and another from Syria, described how they were targeted by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, for being gay.
"My own family turned against me when [Islamic State] was after me," Adnan, an Iraqi man who fled his home, said at the meeting. "If [Islamic State] didn't get me, members of my family would have done it."
There have been numerous incidents of gay men beheaded by ISIS members or thrown to their deaths from buildings — in the latter instances, those who survived the plunge were then stoned to death. Lesbians and transgender people were also targeted for rape and murder.
Militants affiliated with ISIS have executed at least 30 LGBT people, Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, reported at Monday's meeting. Those reporting from the trenches says the group uses Facebook and cell phone contacts to hunt gay people.
The U.S. ambassador promised to take action.
"It's about time, 70 years after the creation of the U.N., that the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage," said Power, according to Al Jazeera America.