Is homosexuality a human rights issue?

As homosexuality gains acceptance in many countries, it has been promoted as a global human rights issue. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission holds consultative status at the United Nations (UN) as a recognized non-governmental organization representing the concerns and human rights of LGBT people worldwide.

  • 2007: The Yogyakarta Principles are applied to international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, which affirm binding international legal standards which all states must comply with.1 Among other things, “states shall adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to prohibit and eliminate discrimination in the public and private spheres on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”2
  • 2008: The UN General Assembly accepted a statement from a LGBT coalition spearheaded by France and the Netherlands that “condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice… killings and executions, torture, arbitrary arrest, and deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights” based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although 66 countries signed it; nearly 60 nations signed an opposing statement.3
  • 2009: The UN passed a non-binding Gay Rights Declaration that called on states to end criminalization and persecution of homosexuals. 85 countries signed it; 57 nations, primarily in Africa and the Middle East, signed an opposing statement.4
  • 2011: The UN Human Rights Council (“HRC”) passed the “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity” Resolution to call for an end to sexual discrimination worldwide. This is binding on member states, although the penalties for violating the resolution are not addressed.5
  • 2013: The UN launched a global public awareness education campaign focusing on the need for legal reform to counter homophobia and transphobia. The document “Born Free and Equal”6 contains recommendations to all United Nations member states (including Singapore) to introduce anti-discrimination laws, which can and have been used against those who do not agree with the LGBT agenda.7

LGBT people should rightly be protected from violence, torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment directed at them based on their sexual orientation. In order to also ensure that homosexual persons have the same legal rights as heterosexual persons in every area of life, the LGBT agenda argues that homosexuality is another human rights issue. However, unlike a person’s race, homosexuality is neither innate (one is born with it) nor immutable (cannot be changed).


3. UN Gen. Assembly Statement Affirms Rights for All (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 19 December 2008)
4. Julia Zebley, UN Rights Council Passes First Gay Rights Resolution (Jurist, 17 June 2011)
5. Ibid.
6. Born Free and Equal: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Human Rights Law  (United Nations Human Rights, New York and Geneva, 2012)