At UN, India Votes In Favour Of Resolution That Excludes LGBT Families

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United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on the “Protection of Families” with the resolution not recognizing family outside of the heterosexual family structure, thus excluding all LGBT families from its ambit. LGBT rights supporters see it as a major defeat at the international stage, which may open the door for more such resolutions aimed at specifically excluding LGBTs.

The resolution was introduced by Egypt, and was backed by a host of countries like Russia, Uganda and Qatar,  known for their anti-gay stance. The resolution calls for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the status of the family and instructs the Human Rights Council to convene a “panel discussion” at its next session on the subject.

Uruguay, Chile, Ireland and France tried to introduce an amendment to make the language more inclusive of the different kind of families, including single parents and LGBT families, but it was blocked by Russia. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had tried to introduce an amendment restricting the definition of marriage between a man and a woman, but withdrew it after the LGBT inclusive definition was rejected.

The resolution was finally passed with a 26-14 votes, with six countries abstaining from voting. India joined the club of countries that voted in favour of the resolution. Along with India, other countries that voted in favour of the resolution were Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Vietnam. Many of these countries are know for their harsh anti-gay laws and opposition to LGBT rights.

Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, South Korea, Romania, the UK and United States voted against the resolution.

This move by India is a significant departure from the recent past, when it has voted in favour of resolutions supporting/including LGBT people or organizations.

19 comments

  1. that’s it! it’s only logical for LGBT people to dump this nation’s sorry ass and go to a place more welcoming and mentally sound. i don’t care for the argument that this place is my motherland. i have a mother and her love is enough for me. i do NOT want to have anything to do with a nation that is so incorrigibly deluded that it has forgotten all lessons on tolerance taught by it’s dynamic culture which is now portrayed selectively. i do NOT want to have anything to do with a nation that has forgotten all lessons on love and respect that the ancients taught, and now cherrypicks old texts to demonise entire communities. it’s happened before though. the lower castes were looked down upon by quoting ….. wait for it ….. THE BHAGWAD GITA! i mean seriously?! and then the lesser known instance when kashmiri pandits are supposed to have fabricated entire scriptures to portray a ruling caste as related to death! and now it’s us! the LGBTs! not that we weren’t discriminated before, but now that half the world has already woken up and come to sense, you’d expect ‘vishwaguru’ India to atleast try to look alive. anyways, i dont care anymore. if this regressive nation can go ahead and pretend we don’t exist, then i’d rather go to a place where i am atleast acknowledged, if not appreciated. you may start counting your days india, you’ll miss me someday. i promise you that!

  2. Lenin

    this is such a bad timing with the right wing government in India which is known for its anti LGBT stance. its time to pack our stuff and get out of the god damnn country for once and for all. but people like me who are so stuck with this country’s conservative and narrow minded parents its gonna be really rough and tough. I don’t know what’s going to happen. such a sad state we are in right now no one can help us.

      • Reader

        I have been visiting a doctor since 3 years and it is not helping… Beware of shrinks who claim they have a cure !! What they really feed you is bullshit in the name of hope.

  3. I for one am offended that LGBT people want to redefine “family”.
    A heterosexual couple raising one or more children is a family. It has it’s own challenges and characteristics, and special commissions need to brought forth to maintain the health of this institution.
    But not only will LGBT people deny us that, they will remove any notion that heterosexual two-parent families are the norm.

    • Shreyasi

      Howard, homosexual couples are not seeking to ‘redefine’ family. They simply want the same rights, freedom to live life as heterosexuals are accorded. LGBT people are definitely NOT looking to deny heterosexuals any right. How can they, when they are being denied the same? Families comprising of hetero couples often see unspeakable horrors. But have you ever seen or heard an LGBT person demand that hetero couples be denied the right to get married, have children etc? The fight is not for preferential treatment, handouts or favors. The fight is for basic human rights & dignity. A family is where people treat each other with respect, give love and security. So I don’t see how an LGBT couple will fail to do so.

      I am speaking as a heterosexual person myself and I am speaking for million others like me who believe the same. So please don’t use ‘US’ when you wish to spew such homophobia and bigotry. You speak for yourself and other cruel narrow-minded individuals who don’t respect human rights. You don’t belong to us.

    • Debraya

      Howard, though I fully agree with Shreyasi here, but let me ask you what is your problem with ‘redefining’ the family?

      Many a thing have been redefined in the past – like owning of slaves, voting rights of women, equal rights for blacks and coloured people, widow remarriage and many many more.

      What has been the problem with that, if any?

  4. How we express sexuality is a learned behavior. God created man & woman to be together as one; and women ovulate to receive sperm cell of man to procreate. All children come from a man & woman. We have the freedom to express ourselves & should not use it to abuse others.

    • Shreyasi

      No one is abusing anyone here. Unless you are talking about people abusing human rights. Then their sexuality does not matter. Like a straight father abusing his son/daughter is a monster who deserves to die and a gay father who loves and protects his kid deserves a pat on his back for parenting done right?

      And it is not sexual preference or a learned behavior excuse me. When did you learn to be straight? I, for sure, don’t remember when I chose men over women or trans. Had I been an LGBT person I’m sure I wouldn’t have woken up one day and decided ‘today is the day I start shitting rainbows and riding unicorns and fornicate with women and force other pure straight people to cause abomination by turning gay….’ Good lord I am surprised by my own imagination!

      We should have the freedom to live a life of dignity and respect. No one chooses to be gay just as no one chooses to be straight. It’s biology.

    • Reader

      High time you woke up and did some basic reading on the subject before advertising doctors “who help”. WAKE up brother, wake up !! ….. Doctors who claim they can help queer people to become straight are only good at making unsuspecting queers lie to themselves. Such curing attempt lead to depression and a fall in self-respect, leading queers to isolation and suicide.

      I am one such victim of “curing attempts”. But I survived. I hope you will try to research from more varied and balanced sources than the one you are referring right now.

    • hah LGBTs have been put into mental institutions for a long time in an attempt to ‘cure’ them. and since it hasn’t worked, you’d think that shoving different people into institutions isn’t the answer. i’m pretty sure you won’t get half the points i’m trying to make here. you know why? google ‘cognitive dissonance’. it’s when you are so terribly hardwired to think of something in one particular way, that you violently resist any evidence against your beliefss, and even try to make it seem as though the same can go together. however, even though people like YOU are the ones experiencing a mental block (if you will), the LGBT community is the one being sent to professional counselors. i know a god deal of psychology myself, as you see i’m on my way to becoming a professional counselor myself. and i KNOW that people with alternative sexualities have nothing wrong with them. in fact, people who spread bigotry and hatred (you know, you for example) are the ones who need to seek psychological help. and anyways, since half of you homophobes are religious nutcases, i’m gonna tell you something about religion. you see, i’ve studies the texts of Indian religion far more extensively than i can assume for you. since you appear to be a Hindu from your name, let me tell you about the principle of the atharva veda that says ‘Vikriti Ev Prakriti’ or deviation from what man calls natural is nature too. and anyways, no matter what religion you or any other of you homophobic bigots follow, truth remains that LGBTs exist, therefore, they are natural. a pretty recent study identified a gene that is responsible for non-straight sexualities. and i’m sure you wouldn’t know about it, because, surprise surprise, homophobes are generally averse to science. anyways, i sure hope you’re not trying to say that whatever reason you have to hate homosexuals trumps scientific research done over decades.

      i’m not asking you to change your mind because i say so. neither do i want to confront you. all i want, for you benefit is to research a bit on the topic, think over it in an unbiased manner, and you will see reason. NOTHING of this can harm you.

      to summarise, you know nothing, my friend, about the LGBT community. wake up, do some reading, and think over it. and dont crib over culture and identity. coz you see, culture and identity are dynamic. you should be proud of you r roots, but you should also look at the sun if you want to grow.

  5. Manoj

    A tragic step back. I think a majority from all these nations who accepted the resolution are developing or underdeveloped and the ones who accepted it are developed. This can be indicative of the a further standard of development. A mass movement should begin consolidating everyone from the nations who rejected it to bring it to the notice how painful this is. I am amazed that such a resolution was even presented at the UN which advocates for Human Rights?

  6. ajay rathore

    Where does the LGBT community get the premomition that India is unsafe for them? As a citizen they get the same priviliges and freedom as anyone else. What is it that additional you seek? What equality? On the otherhand if you want to recognise LGBT marriages, then it is a matter of religion as most marriages in India are as per a religious law or procedure. There is a Hindu Act or a Muslim Act etc., do we need another such Acts? What is an LGBT family? And as an Indian would like to ask you if you want to start an LGBT family here, do you think the society would accept it easily even if the legal system does? India is quite a conservative socity, even love marriages and inter-caste marriage or inter-racial are difficult to be accepted here. Even if you legally you can start families, adopt kids etc, think about how their future would be here in a complex society. Then the oppressed would start fighting for rights and minority priviliges and legal action against offenders. It would make it worse. As it is the country is struggling to have equality among castes, religions and races and even languages. I am sure there must have been a deep debate over taking such a stance, and decided on this. A person’s sexual orientation is his/ her own choice, but fighting for acceptance in a society is far more comples. Our culture has to change, accept and adapt and it cannot be overnigt.

    • Debraya

      Agreed. But the change has to start somewhere. You cannot hope to change it by doing nothing.

      People like Ram Mohan Ray who stopped the ‘suttee’, David Hare who started schools for women and Vidyasagar who legalised widow remarriage in India did not just sit tight on their rears waiting for the society to change itself. If they did, we would still be living in the Stone Age.

      Go, figure!

  7. hi ajay :)
    i’ll try to answer some of the interesting questions you posed in your comment. i don’t mean to confront you though. this is just an effort to facilitate discussion. please read the whole comment and feel free to reply. also, i’d like to mention that the last point is a summary of all the points i have made, but it is still advisable to read the whole text anyway. :)
    1. LGBTs are infact unsafe in india. it isn’t a mere gut feeling or premonition. thousands of LGBTs have been harassed over their sexual and gender identities. they have faced discrimination, mockery and hatred from family, friends, neighbors, peers and even strangers. this is an everyday occurance for many of them. LGBTs are treated badly across the nation. only a few of these instances get reported though, and even when they ARE reported, they are mere newspaper blurbs that one can miss easily. did you know the biggest percentage of people of South Asian origin seeking asylum into the US are part of the LGBT community? this is a sureshot sign that there is something genuinely wrong with their situation, not just in India, but South Asia in general.

    2. the constitution guarantees all citizens the right to life. but LGBTs are murdered or forced to commit suicide. indian citizens are guaranteed a life without discrimination. but the LGBTs have to face the discrimination at home and work alike. the LGBTs arent looking for something extra. they just want to be treated equally. they want to be treated the same way as heterosexuals are, to be given the same rights, to be looked by the same eye.

    3. religion does play a role in the traditional marriage. but fact is, presense or absense of religion doesnt credit or discredit a marriage. there are a lot of marriages that take place in courts, or in a way where the bride and groom dont involve religion in the ceremony. also, one comes to see the Special Marriage Act 1954. marriage is a social phenomenon that iscapable of being performed in a religious way. but religion does not define marriage, because it is essentially a social contract in which two people come together to accept that they shall live together and work for each others’ benefit. neither does this definition depend upon religion, nor does it depend upon the gender of the people getting married. infact, if you think of the tradition of Gandharva Vivaah, only consent and a promise to live together is the main requirement for marriage, so the riligious argument is flawed too.

    4. on the question of what constitutes an LGBT family, i want to ask what exactly IS a family? is it defined as a man and woman living together raising kids to procreate and bring more generations into the world? if that is so, what happens if either spouse dies? does it mean that the relationship between the surviving spouse and his in-laws is nullified? does it mean that the children of the couple have only one set of grandparents? what about a single/divorced parent? does the lack of a spouse of the parent devoid the child of having a family altogether? what about couples who cannot have children, or do not want to have them? does it mean they cannot be called a family? i think you can conclude that the only real ingredient necessary for being called a family is filial love, respect and care. lots of LGBT couples have that. and if they are denied being called a family then i think that’s discrimination. but had the definition of marriage and family been mere social constructs, it would probably havent been so bad. a major problem is that marriage and family holds a lot of legal significance. there is the topic of inheritance rights, the question of parenthood, tax benefits, and so may more. again, these aren’t illegitimate special demands. these rights are available to heterosexual couples. snatching them from LGBTs makes it discriminatory.

    5. i assure you, the LGBTs have faced a lot of tough situations in family and society. it won’t be half as bad if they have the person they love with them to support them. i agree, india is still struggling to wrap its head around the whole new definition of marriage that breaks free of barriers of caste, religion and race. but many of the couples do gain acceptance and love from their families. and a lot of LGBT people have supportive families, so i dont think the family will have an objection to the match if the person is out.

    6. the issue you have raised is a general one. the struggle of prospective children of lgbt families will be the same as the struggle of children born out of wedlock, or orphans without a traceable genealogy, or adopted children. the issue is that the society is patriarchal, and it cannot look beyond a husband protecting and providing for the child and the mother sitting in the kitchen preparing food and singing lullabies to her crying child. it is evident in formal documents, where after your own name, they ask you to fill out the name of your Father/Husband/Guardian to ascertain your identity. the mother’s (maiden) name is reserved only for secondary purposes like recovery of lost information. that is a long essay in itself.

    7. LGBTs come from all types of backgrounds. they have different religions, castes, mother tongues and racial identities. anyways, reservation is largely created and sustained by politics. and i’m pretty sure when i say that the LGBTs are currently out of their sympathies. the country is indeed struggling with identity politics. but that doesnt license ignoring the right to exist peacefully that is the crux of all demands of the LGBT community.

    8. going by india’s track record, we cannot really be sure that there was a good thought given to the issue. the BJP government is almost desperate to look good to the orthodox hindus. it is not improbable that the representatives were pressured into taking this stand.

    9. lastly, i want to ask you to please take note that sexual orientation is an orientation, not a choice. nobody chooses to be attracted to any person, whatever be their sex. attraction, love, intimacy, all these have been explained by science to be governed by brain chemistry, something out of our control. a good amount of scientific research points out that sexual orientation is in fact governed by genes. and there is no way to change sexual identity, through science, religion or any other means.

    thanks for reading the whole thing. please feel free to reply with any questions or remarks. :)

  8. zarwan

    Yeah, great that Egypt joins the “pro-family” crowd, because they have been arresting LGBT people since last year. More than 77 arrested! Some defenders of human rights. For more information on the LGBT crackdown, you can see this blog post
    http://paper-bird.net/2014/05/18/brutal-gender-crackdown-in-egypt-the-tomorrows-that-never-came/
    Also here:
    http://paper-bird.net/2013/11/11/military-manhood-more-arrests-for-homosexual-conduct-in-egypt/
    and here:
    http://paper-bird.net/2013/10/14/new-arrests-for-homosexuality-in-egypt-the-leaden-dream/

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