US President Barack Obama
The US has signed on to a UN declaration which calls for the decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world.
The declaration was read out at the UN in December last year, with the US being one of the countries – including South Africa – that refused to endorse it.
Now, under the Obama administration, the country has reversed its position.
“The United States supports the U.N.’s statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity and is pleased to join the other 66 U.N. member states who have declared their support of the statement,” said the State Department in a statement.
The move reflects the Obama administration’s stated commitment to human rights issues and highlights South Africa’s shameful record of failing to support human rights causes at the UN.
South Africa has been accused of not endorsing the statement, despite its constitution guaranteeing equal rights to its LGBT citizens, out of fear of alienating other African countries.