Advocacy statements

Opposition to LGBTI rights by OIC States

  • Date / 2015
  • Location / Nigeria
  • Relevant Institution / UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Item / Item 8: Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action


International Humanist and Ethical Union

United Nations Human Rights Council, 29th Session (15th June – 3rd July 2015)

General Debate, Item 8

We welcome the statement by the High Commissioner [A/HRC/29/23] on discrimination or violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or identity. But we were dismayed at the opposition expressed by the representative of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and by several other States to any discussion of this issue[1], claiming inter alia that the statement by the High Commissioner went beyond his mandate.  We object most strongly to the idea that discussion of the human rights of anyone should be off limits in this Council or that they should for any reason be denied the full protection of their human rights.

Some speakers questioned why this group was being singled out for special consideration. The answer of course is that – like people with albinism who have also been singled out – LGBT people are suffering widespread persecution and discrimination.

The spurious argument that there is no agreement within this Council regarding LGBT rights brings no credit to the OIC and its allies. It is a tacit admission that, despite its claims to the contrary, the Islamic states do not accept the universality of human rights.

The Gulf Cooperation Council representative stated that LGBT practices do not accord with Sharia law[2]…. But, Mr President, this Council was not created for the promotion and protection of Sharia law but for the promotion and protection of human rights.  If there is any conflict between the two then surely – in this Council above all – human rights must prevail.


[1] These statements were expressed during the General Debate on Item 2/3, 22nd June 2015 – by, for example, the OIC countries, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.

[2] Qatar on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council during the General Debate on Item 2/3, 22nd June 2015.

Suggested academic reference

'Opposition to LGBTI rights by OIC States', Humanists International

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