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Logie hopes UN stance will spark change

Tue 20 Dec 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News

Jan Logie Greens' Co-spokesperson on Rainbow Issues Jan Logie is hopeful the United Nations' stand on glbti issues will be used to help governments realise rights for glbti people in New Zealand and across the world. In its first-ever official report on the issue, the UN is calling for governments to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, prosecute all serious violations and repeal discriminatory laws. Logie has written on Frogblog that in 2000 she was on the New Zealand delegation to Beijing +5 following up from the 4th World Conference on Women. "I joined the crossed nation lobby of individuals and NGOs working to protect the gains around sexual rights," she says. "In this group were lesbians from a range of countries. Many of them were still living undercover and many of them had survived quite extreme violence and were living in fear of discovery and attack. I felt slightly awestruck by their courage and also outraged by the injustice and I did wonder what further amazing things they could have achieved if they hadn't had to live in such conditions. "At that time we were playing catch up against a very conservative Christian lobby that had managed to influence the pre meeting negotiations. We managed to hold the line and progress the rights for women but there was certainly no space to have lesbian written anywhere in the text. While at the previous UN meeting on Women in Beijing in 1995 Hilary Clinton made a stir by declaring women’s rights to be human rights I am very pleased to finally see the United Nations in 2011 formally recognise LGBTI rights as Human Rights." Logie says her hope is the document will make a difference for those women she worked with and the millions of LGBTI people like them all around the world. She says more specifically and close to home this can be a spur for action on implementing the recommendations of How do we make it better? Mapping the Steps towards a More Supportive Coming Out Environment for Queer Youth in Aotearoa New Zealand which she says provided a New Zealand response to the fact our queer youth are three times more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience bullying and five times more likely to attempt suicide. "These documents usually only make a difference if we use them – and I hope this government will work with me (and Kevin Hague) to make the changes necessary to ensure all members of the LGBTI communities, here and overseas, can realise our rights."    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 20th December 2011 - 2:05pm

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