Gay activist Louis-Georges Tin outlines the importance of a worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality

On January 1st 2003, to start the new year in a gentle way, 3 young men were beheaded in Saudi Arabia. Why?

They were presumed to be gay.

Being killed in Iran, tortured in Egypt, arrested in Cameroon, this is the fate awaiting gays and lesbians in many countries in the world. A legal scandal we want to denounce, a revolting reality we want to overcome.

One of the aims of the International Day Against Homophobia is to call upon the United Nations for universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.

It is not out of reach, we already have a precedent in the UN, the Human Rights’ Committee decision in Toonen v. Australia.

On April 4, 1994, the HRC ruled that a statute of the Australian state of Tasmania prohibiting sexual contact between consulting adult men in private was a violation of fundamental human rights.

So, with this jurisprudence of the HRC, and with a majority of states that do not criminalise homosexuality in the UN assembly, it is not impossible to reach our goal.

We are starting with a petition, and will hopefully turn it into a UN resolution. The text is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because it is the only philosophical base we are all supposed to agree to.

The petition has been signed by NGOS and gay groups as well Nobel Prize winners, writers, celebrities and political figures.

Please sign on www.idahomophobia.org

Louis-Georges Tin is the founder of the International Day Against Homophobia..

This article first appeared in the January issue of The Pink News which is out now.