For the first time, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a resolution condemning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In a close vote on Friday, 23 in favor and 19 opposed, the council established a panel to review instances of discrimination toward gays, lesbians and transgendered individuals and commissioned a report on "the challenges that LGBT persons face around the globe," CNN reported.
The nation of South Africa introduced the legislation, although the United States "lobbied intensively" for its passage. While the resolution may seem incremental, the mere acknowledgement of gay rights issues is being hailed as a "historic" motion by the U.N. body. Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, summed up the decision to the cable network concisely: "It really is a key part in setting a new norm that gay rights are human rights and that that has to be accepted globally."