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ILGA returns to the United Nations

BY ROB SALERNO: After a 17-year absence, the International Lesbian and Gay Association was welcomed back to the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council this week as an accredited non-governmental organization. The decision gives ILGA the right to participate in debates and reports that will be circulated and discussed at the council. It also gives the group the right to participate in the UN’s Human Rights Council.

ILGA is an association of more than 600 gay rights groups in 110 countries. It was previously accredited from 1993-94 but was booted out after it came to light that ILGA counted among its members the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and other groups that advocated for pedophilia. ILGA later booted the groups to comply with the UN decision, but UN members continued to refuse ILGA’s application for reaccreditation, on the grounds that ILGA couldn’t prove that it was no longer associating with the pedophilia groups. (ILGA kepts its membership list private, so as to protect groups in countries where homosexuality is still illegal.)

The vote at ECOSOC on July 26 had 29 in favour, 14 against and five abstentions. The “nays” were all African and Islamic countries, plus Russia and China. The “yeas” were mostly European and North and South American countries (yes, Canada voted in favour) but also included South Korea, Japan, India and Mongolia.

The full results: 

In favour: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.

Against: Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Zambia.

Abstentions: Bahamas, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Philippines and Rwanda.

IGLA has posted the full text of the debate on its website (scroll down to the bold part).

According to the Bay Area Reporter, ILGA is now one of several gay rights groups with consultative status at the United Nations, including: International Wages Due Lesbians; Australia’s Coalition of Activist Lesbians; ILGA-Europe (an autonomous division of ILGA); Denmark’s Landsforeningen for Bøsser og Lesbiske (National Association for Gays and Lesbians); Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland (Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany); the Swedish national LGBT group RFSL (its former initials now are its full name); Coalition Gaie et Lesbienne du Québec (Quebec Gay and Lesbian Coalition); COC Netherlands (a national LGBT group whose former initials are now its full name); Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros (Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders); the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; and Spain’s Federaci—n Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales (State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals).

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