LGBT Issues Cause Tension in Human Rights Council


Sara Valencia

President Antonia Carvajal and Vice-President Gregorio Noreña study documents preparing for the debate for Thursday’s Human Rights Council session.

Marianna Román, COSMUN News Writer

The Human Rights Council debated equality for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to information presented in the committee, in August of 2017, the South Korean Supreme Court stated that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights should be legalized.

We have the power and although we can’t alter the minds of our people, we can definitely enforce the law,” Isabela Arboleda, Delegate of the United States, said.

As the delegates continued to debate, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, and Afghanistan all claimed that religion is the foundation of their cultures and that conflicts with LGBT values. These countries argued that cultures should always be respected and their right to disagree.

“People can love whoever they want. What is not acceptable is to walk in the streets holding hands with someone from the same gender identity. Children are very influential and these would certainly make an impact that is contrary to the nations beliefs,” Ana Maria Jaramillo, Delegate of Afghanistan, said.

United States requested delegations to not claim that religion is the reason why they don’t defend the LGBT community, as many cultures in the past have proven that these can be accepted, regardless.  

“Part of human evolution means acceptance of something that may have once been wrong. Governments must also advance with society. Main principles of the nation should stand, but the principles are what lead the nations to evolve. LGBT should not be an obstacle,” Simon Aristizabal, delegate of China, said.

Later in the morning session, the delegations brought up how the discrimination of the LGBT community has consequences such as execution and death penalty in some nations, such as the delegation of Saudi Arabia, who claims that punishments should be done in order to teach their people to follow their traditions and values, and to protect them from immorality.

“According to the dictionary, the definition of unmoral is to not be influenced by or concerned with morality. It is not immoral for people to love whoever they want. It is not immoral for people to be accepted for who they are. What is considered immoral and unacceptable, is that someone might receive a death penalty for these reasons, which would be violating all human rights,” Arboleda stated.

Russia expressed that balance leads to equality, and that harsh consequences lead to unbalance. Their delegation does not supports the idea of gay marriage and gay adoption being legal. Further, such actions create propaganda that influence youth who are not mature enough to take these types of decisions. This view was disputed by the delegate of the United States.

“The majority of suicides are caused by the oppression on young members of the LGBT community, so what we should do is educate these people so they can understand and handle properly the situation,” Arboleda said.

“Being part of the community is morally right. Killing someone because of the way they think doesn’t affect children more than equality. The delegate is not claiming that religion should be disrespected, but that religion and equality should be balanced, by not disrespecting the law,” Laura Murillo, delegate of Saudi Arabia, said.