Refugee Subhi Nahas never could have predicted that so soon after being granted refugee protection he would become one of the first people in history to address the U.N. Security Council on LGBT persecution. The historic meeting, an informal session known as an “Arria,” was prompted by attacks by ISIS and other extremist groups in Syria and Iraq against LGBT individuals.
The meeting, organized by the U.S. and Chilean delegations, was held behind closed doors to protect the privacy of an anonymous Iraqi gay man who used the pseudonym “Adnan” and delivered testimony via telephone. It was attended by 13 of the 15 member nations of the powerful chamber, with only Chad and Angola refusing to participate. Four countries with troubling LGBT rights records of their own — China, Russia, Nigeria, and Malaysia — declined to speak, but remained present for the entire meeting.
“This is the first time in history that the council has held a meeting on the victimization of LGBT persons,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said. “It is the first time we are saying, in a single voice, that it is wrong to target people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a historic step. And it is, as we all know, long overdue.” Read More via Buzzfeed