Tagged Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights

Where Love Is a Crime

2.8 billion people live in countries that criminalize same­-sex relationships. This reality raises many important questions. How can this be in light of human dignity and human rights for all persons? How can this be in democratic countries claiming the equality of citizens and the responsibility of majorities to protect minorities? For persons of faith who believe in a God who creates and loves all persons, how can we not speak out as sexual minorities are placed in harm’s way by these laws?

“We need to honor our traditional values and our culture,” and “We must oppose homosexuality because it is a Western influence” are the common arguments for maintaining or strengthening anti­-homosexuality laws in many of the 76 countries where homosexuality is criminalized. Nothing could be further from the truth when one looks closely at their own indigenous cultures and the influence of colonial history.

Same­-sex love is, and has been, a part of human life and history in all cultures across time. While some may describe homosexuality or same­-sex love as a Western creation or a modern phenomenon, the witness of ancient art, literature, culture and history tells us the truth and the stories of the variety of human sexualities and relationships. Read more

Celebrating Same­-Sex Love at the United Nations

History was made this week at the United Nations as same­-sex love and relationships were recognized and celebrated. Daniela Mercury and her wife Malu Verçosa Mercury spoke to media at the United Nations in New York City and at this forum: Protecting the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) People in Latin America: ­­A Decade of Progress. Daniela Mercury is a Brazilian musician who has sold over 20 million albums and Malu Verçosa Mercury is a journalist. Daniela Mercury is a UN Equality Champion and a UNICEF Ambassador for Brazil. Daniela and Malu were married in 2014 in the company of family and friends.

The video Celebrate Love! is the new resource from the United Nation’s Free and Equal Campaign. It features a new song by Daniela Mercury and footage from Daniela and Malu’s wedding ceremony and celebration.

Read more