COMMENTARY: All human beings are born free and equal

César Antonio Núñez, Director, Regional Support Team for Latin America, UNAIDS
César Antonio Núñez, Director, Regional Support Team for Latin America, UNAIDS 

May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and it comes at a critical time for Latin America and the Caribbean. This year the world started its 15-year journey toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with their emphasis on dignity, equality and security for all. Yet recent events in the region demonstrate that entire communities remain degraded, discriminated against and excluded.

Earlier this month a Bahamian political party hastily reiterated its commitment to social justice and equity after a parliamentarian told journalists that transgender people should be exiled.

In March three Guyanese transgender women were barred from court because they wore female clothes.

Already this year dozens of transgender people have been killed in Brazil. Killings have also been reported in Bolivia and Venezuela.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. In order to truly achieve this, we must overcome prejudice and discrimination everywhere, including in our homes, streets, classrooms, workplaces, clinics, police stations, and parliaments.

Social and economic inequalities add layers of vulnerability to people’s lives. Imagine what happens when you are rejected or put out of the house by your family; when you are bullied by fellow students or treated differently by teachers; when you are called names or attacked by strangers; when you don’t feel comfortable reporting a crime or seeking care at a hospital because of the looks and comments you get from policemen, nurses or security guards.

Here’s an idea of the fallout. According to UNESCO almost half of LGBT students in Latin America do not finish secondary school. Global AIDS Response Progress Report data show that in some countries HIV rates among men who have sex with men and transgender women are as much as twenty times the national average.  Globally, there were more than 1300 reported killings of transgender people between 2008 and 2013. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights notes that four of every five such murders occurred in this region.

Discrimination increases the vulnerability of entire communities by driving them away from life-saving services like health. Our words, actions and attitudes really do hurt.

From June 8 to 10, United Nations Member States will meet at the High Level Meeting on HIV in New York to agree on a Fast Track approach that will allow us to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. Of course that entails investing more in prevention, testing and treatment. But it also means ensuring that no one is left behind. We need far more than condoms and pills if we are to reach everyone.

People must be held accountable for hate speech, acts of violence and discrimination.  National Human Rights Institutions, Offices of the Ombudsmen or Equal Opportunity Commissions should have a mandate to respond to the violence and discrimination faced by LGBT people. Additionally, the LGBT community should have as much access to police stations and courts as every other community.

Anti-discrimination laws that explicitly say it is not OK to treat someone unfairly because they have a different sexual orientation or gender identity are important tools for human rights protection. Also important is removing laws used to arrest, punish or discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

But beyond legal frameworks and human rights monitoring systems, we have to address the underlying issues of humanity and dignity. As UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé has reminded us: “We can only be free when we respect the freedom of our LGBT brothers and sisters.”

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  1. truththe
    May 19, 2016

    Not in Dominica, we are a God fearing people. Our country is the land of our Lord.

  2. Tjebe Fort
    May 19, 2016

    All I want to say is that straight peope have rights too! With all that is going on, that gay lobby, crossdressing, cross gender and cross anything else will call straight people abnormal. I have no problem with you all but please don’t be so aggressive. I don’t go and make a big fuss about being old fashioned heterosexual either. Just behave yourselves and go on with live and stop bitching. That is what pisses me off, not your sexual preference. You are not more important than straight people.

  3. Face the Facts
    May 18, 2016

    All are created equal. Not in this manner – NO WAY! Do not try to deceive us, to pull the wool over our eyes. I am not deceived. As usual, they want to force this and their agenda down our throat as with other immoralities. I am not impressed nor swayed.
    God created man and woman. He did not make a mistake when He created us. This is a slap in the face of God.
    Regardless of how much they mutilate their bodies, God views them as how they were born., if a female and if a male; no other way. When they stand before him for their judgment, it will be as a female and a male, how they were born; not what they have become and turn themselves into.
    The devil is in the offing. Something went wrong with those people that they feel they are not how they were born.
    Look here! We must respect people and their preference. However, we do not have to agree with them and condone them especially if it is against our morals, principles and religious teachings and beliefs.

  4. Free and equal :?:

    Homosexuals are not free. If they were free they would not have more mental health issues than heterosexuals, suffer more from depression, have a higher rate of alcoholism, a higher suicide rate, and on average a shorter life span. These things are the symptoms of the bondage they are in. They are bound by Satan and oppressed by the devil.

    They are not equal to heterosexuals because this equality is not something you have to campaign for. Would you leave a man you knew was a homosexual to babysit your six year old son, or let him take your boy on a hiking trip? Some may. But the majority would not. This proves most people know homosexuals are not equal! They are not equal in normal sexual feelings, not equal in self control, and not equal in trust worthiness.

    But God will save and deliver any homosexual who surrenders to Christ, and receives Him as his (or her) Savior!

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  5. The fact that there is an International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia shows the depth of depravity to which the nations have sunk. For Christians who know their Bibles this is no surprise. The Word of God tells us such a time would come just prior to the end of the gospel age and the return of Jesus Christ to judge the nations.

    Christ said when He comes again the world will be like it was in the days of Lot. “…the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:29,30) We encourage you to read Genesis 19:1-25 to see what society was like in the time of Lot, and how God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha
    because of their homosexuality. Then read 2 Peter 2:4-6 and also Jude vs.7 to see how this is meant to be an example for those in the future who practice this ungodly lifestyle.

    • Continued …

      Are those who practice incest, polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality free and equal? Some of them say they were born that way, and claim it is their “orientation”. They say it is their “right” and we must not discriminate.

      When governments give equal rights to homosexuals they must give equal rights to these other deviates. If they refuse they are showing bias and discriminating!

      The truth is nobody has a “right” to break God’s law. When they adopt a practice or a lifestyle God has forbidden they are no longer free. They have been taken captive by the arch enemy of their soul.

      God has forbidden homosexuality basically for two reasons.

      (1) It is against nature. Romans 1:26,27.

      (2) It is contrary to His purpose for marriage, and goes against the model He has given us for holy matrimony. Matthew 19:4-6.

      This is why the following scriptures in the New Testament forbid homosexuality.

      Romans 1:21-32

      1 Corinthians 6:22-28

      1 Timothy…

      • Continuation …

        1 Timothy 1:9,10.

        All people are equal when it comes to the law of God. It applies equally to each one of us. We all have an equal right to marry somebody of the opposite gender!

        Apart from this nobody has a right to break the law of God.

        Nation after nation has chosen to violate the laws of God and live as if God did not exist. You Sir – Cesaar Antonio Nunez – think it is a wonderful thing that the world has chosen to celebrate its rebellion against the very God of heaven who spoke them into existence. You seem to have no knowledge of the fact that the day is fast approaching when …

        “… the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill…

  6. d-a born
    May 18, 2016

    Why are they mixing in school drop out rates and HIV infections with violence against those people? Murder is not ok but don’t try to make it seem like the other stuff that happen to them is because of discrimination.

    Trans people seem to be confused and depressed. I doubt it’s because of discriminatory pressure, it’s most likely because they have internal struggles. Homosexuals are the highest at risk group for STI infections (especially HIV), and that has nothing to do with homophobia and lack of health care, it’s because of their recklessness. Stop spreading your foul agenda with lies.

  7. Imperial prince
    May 18, 2016

    Murder is not OK. But neither should nasty homosexuality be condoned. Its our law and should remain that way. Calling evil good and good evil. The media and those in authority among the world super powers really loves distorting truth ha!

  8. Muslim_Always
    May 18, 2016

    All human beings are born equal yet not all behaviors are equal. Please keep this is mind whilst fueling the homosexual agenda in the Caribbean.

    • viewsexpressed
      May 19, 2016

      Well said….well said….well put together..
      A person has the right to politely say I am not in favour of this or that as long as they are not violent or abusive to anyone else. Most, majority do not condone acts against natures will, so the act of homosexuality is not a normal one based on the sexual activity they engage in. It goes nowhere and cannot produce nothing human.

    • These people are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

      They say all human beings are born equal.

      At the same time they are telling us that some are born homosexuals unable to sexually relate to the opposite gender, more prone to mental health issues, more apt to develop alcoholism, more likely to become suicidal, and will likely have a shorter life span.

      People are not born homosexuals.

      I know of men and women who married the opposite gender, lived with their opposite gender spouse for years, had biological children, and then left their heart broken and shattered family behind to go and live with a same sex partner.

      I also know of former male and female homosexuals who broke free from homosexuality, and married opposite sex spouses. Some of them have had biological children.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  9. smh
    May 18, 2016

    population control agenda.

  10. May 18, 2016

    The Bible speaks of a “Mystery Babylon” who made the whole world drink from the cup of her fornication. With that said, Christianity has always proclaimed that homosexuality in any form is an abomination to God, hence the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now the same Western Slave Masters and Colonists who introduced our ancestors to the Christian Bible and Christian Faith are beginning to tell us that we should ignore and abandon Christian principles and embrace the homosexual community whom they are now giving fancy names such as LGBT, Transgender and Transexual etc.. Although I do not advocate for acts of violence against any person who chooses to engage in or practice this lifestyle of sin and immorality, I still believe that it is our right to speak against it and to defend the Christian Principles which we profess to believe in. People do have a right to live their lives as they please and to not be harassed or discriminated against, but not to be embraced!!!

    • “…I still believe that it is our right to speak against it and defend the Christian principles which we profess to believe in.”

      Thank you LabourOfLove :!:

      Those who advocate for homosexuality cannot fight their battle with truth. They have no command of the facts because logic is not on their side. We cannot reason with them because they have no desire to be objective and won’t try.

      They would like to wipe out the Christian influence by creating laws that open the way for any sexual behaviour that feels good. They bring in laws that say we must tolerate every form of perversion. They thrust upon us laws that label any speaking out against their abominations “hate crime”. and would silence those who preach the Word of God.

      Let us serve our antichrist governments notice that we intend to speak out against these abominations and defend the Christian principles we believe in. The more they try to muzzle us the louder we will preach.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald…

  11. Channel 1
    May 18, 2016

    With all this transgender bathroom foolishness going on, I want to know what is going to happen when a male who decides in his mind that he is really a female decides to go into a female shower such as in a gym where actual women are taking a bath.

    • Face the Facts
      May 19, 2016

      The US government is promoting it, legislating it and fanning it. First the washrooms. Then It will come to that. Have you not heard? It is extremely controversial in some US States.
      Frankly, I would prefer not knowing about this bathroom issue but it is out in the international Media.
      I can tell you there will be a lot of problems. There is in Canada. Some parents are dead set against it. There have been demonstrations against it.
      We have some sick governments. Let them keep messing up the system, their country, the world and confusing of all, the children, causing them to go astray and adopt immoral beliefs They get a lot of people angry. One day they will have to answer to God for that.

    • And what is to stop a “normal” heterosexual male who is attracted to women from pretending he is a woman now and going into a ladies washroom for what he can see or get? This is sick beyond words!

      We have a LADIES sign on the door of female washrooms to keep the men out. It is right and proper to give the girls their privacy. It is about decency and respectability. This is how it is in the normal world.

      We never thought federal governments with their legislative powers would go on the side of such gross immorality and wickedness, and literally fight against righteousness.

      For true believers in Jesus Christ – the church of the First Born – this is a call to arms. It is time to rally the troops.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  12. Channel 1
    May 18, 2016

    Aye DNO, what an absolute unadulterated piece of rubbish to start your news day with. Phew. DNO, y’all got to be joking.

    Homophobia? Transphobia? Phobia indicates a fear of something. Since when is the stance against homosexuality etc as a result of anybody being afraid of any homo or trans person? Somebody may be afraid of a snake or a lion or bad thief, but being afraid of a homo or trans person? Give me a break.

    Folks, you see what happens when you legalize one form of perversion – EVERY other single form of sexual perversion MUST be accepted. It is just a matter of time before pedophilia, zoophilia, polygamy, incest etc are justified by this political correct, “afraid-to-offend” world of ours. Soon this silly random collection of letters called LGBT will be expanded to included more letters of more sexual perversions out there.

    I ask again, since when is sexual fantasy & perversion a human right?

    • d-a born
      May 18, 2016

      Good point. Well, the LGBT thing has quite a few more letters from what I’ve heard. They just keep adding them as they go. Lol

      • You would expect this from people who don’t know if they are male or female, and change
        their minds about their own gender. It was the trans people who got this LGBT ball rolling.

        Have you any idea how much higher the suicide (and attempted suicide) rate is among those who have had the “change” compared to the general population :?:

        Some LGBT people DO know. But they pay no attention to it, don’t admit it and refuse to discuss it. Why? Because they have lost all sense of logic. Certain types of willful sin does this to a person.

        These poor people have lost any objectivity they ever had. This is why it is impossible to reason with them on any factual basis.

        Christ said, “If the light that is within you be darkened how great is that darkness.”

        Rev. Donald Hill, Evangelist

    • Face the Facts
      May 19, 2016

      What a world! This annoys me.
      Yes! It was, recognizing homosexuals and lesbians; so-called same sex marriage. They are called spouses; they get equal benefits and can adopt children. Now it is “gender”; no more female and male. They want to dissolve marriage between men and women. They want to be recognized as the same as heterosexual couples.
      People are sued if they refuse to make a so-called wedding cake and dress and to take their pictures.
      Those governments, the interest groups and these people are placing more divisions and disunity in the world.
      It is a big issue. It is now being discussed on the US Catholic Radio and will continue to be. We are angry!!!
      God help us and save us from the throngs of Hell and those people!
      Blame people as the UN about that! Woe to them and on that day!

    • Dante Jones
      May 19, 2016

      Ask the padna that kill the man because “all battyman must die” if is not a phobia. You killing somebody because you feel they a certain way and you want to tell me is not something you afraid of? Fear comes in many forms and violence is usually one of the most common reactions. The phobia in homophobia is an innate fear of a decline in masculinity which is why some are so appalled by male homosexuality yet they have little or no problem with female homosexuality. Add to that the fact that many of those most vocal against homosexuals have latent homosexual tendencies and are just fighting to cope with the dissonance.

    • The words “homophobia” and “transphobia” are used inappropriately in situations where they do not apply to attack and shame heterosexuals who stand for Judeo – Christian morals and family values.

      While we use the facts of medical science and psychology, and the truth of scripture to turn people away from homosexuality and avoid its consequences the LGBT resorts to lies to defend themselves, and psychological warfare to promote their agenda.

      Channel 1 you are right about the way the words “homophobia” and “transphobia” are being used inappropriately. They have given them meanings they do not have. One of their advocates has put a spin on these words and tried to give them a meaning that would make them useful to their cause. This only demonstrates how void the LGBT people are of logic and objectivity.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • Channel 1:

      Thank you for your comment!

      It is brimming with sheer truth and logic. I agree with each power packed statement you have made.

      I find DNO a valuable source of information Their news articles does give some of us an opportunity to respond. However I sometimes question the wisdom of DNO giving publicity to organizations and individuals who are advocating for homosexuality, and pushing the gay agenda forward.

      These people have no case and no facts that would change the minds of anybody. The best they can do is mock the Bible, and bad mouth the Christians, and use words like homophobia and transphobia (a new one) inappropriately for situations where they do not apply. This is a form of psychological warfare designed to make us ashamed (because nobody wants to be appear afraid of homosexuality.) In a sense we are afraid of the harm it does; the diseases it spreads, the marriages it breaks up, and the children it robs of a parent.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

      • Some of you don’t believe that straight people who have been married and had children have
        left their families to pursue the gay lifestyle. This is because you want to believe homosexuals are born that way.

        You may be interested to know some of my research came from literature, and some from the internet. Sadly, in a few cases I have known the people. Some of the information I share came right out of the “gay village” in Toronto.

        A woman l know left her husband and children to live with a lesbian lover. One of her little girls
        said to the father, “Daddy, doesn’t mummy love us any more?”

        Yes, they call me “homophobic” because I am afraid of homosexuals hurting people this way.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. (Pastoral Counseling Certificate)

  13. Dominican
    May 18, 2016

    OK my man, take it easy. Just don’t insist on stuffing your life style down my throat.

    • Dante Jones
      May 19, 2016

      why do you people insist on using that metaphor? So much latent homosexuality lmao

  14. nicole
    May 18, 2016

    Live and let live

    • This is a silly and meaningless statement.

      It means you have no concern about your own behavior or anybody elses.

      It indicates that you have no interest in how anybody lives, yourself or your neighbor.

      It is plain stupid because life is all about how we act and what we do or don’t do.

      The “live and let live” philosophy would make all laws unnecessary and eliminate the justice system.

      It also implies that God had no right to give us the ten commandments. It means the great Creator should not tell us what to do or not to do.

      One way to evaluate any concept is to take it to the extreme (amplify it) and see what it looks like. This one sure leaves you with a mess and looking like a fool :!:

      After over 50 years of a world wide evangelistic ministry, pastoring four city churches, and directing two counseling centres, I can tell you this. Those who believe their Bibles and live by God’s precepts have the best life.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

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