UN Appoints LGBT Human Rights Watchdog

By a vote of 23 to 18 (with 6 abstentions), the United Nations Human Rights Commission voted to appoint the first-ever "independent expert" to track LGBT human rights worldwide. They will be responsible for monitoring "violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity." The resolution is a landmark advance for LGBT equality internationally, as it will lead to regular UN reports documenting anti-LGBT discrimination around the world and is the most important international recognition that LGBT rights are human rights. The vote came after heated objections from Muslim nations led by Pakistan, which succeeded in passing amendments to "respect cultural and religious value systems."