It's International Human Rights day and the United Nations is honoring the day by celebrating the LGBT community with the latest addition to the Free & Equal campaign for LGBT equality around the world—a video, "A History of LGBT Rights at the UN," spotlighting the movement's successes and how far we have left to go on the road to worldwide equality.
Human Rights Day has been around for more than six decades "to bring the attention 'of the peoples of the world' the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations," according to the event's website.
The video, which features Mary Lambert's melodic contribution to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' Grammy-nominated "Same Love," is part of the UN's Free & Equal campaign. An initiative of the UN's Human Rights Office in partnership with The Purpose Foundation, Free & Equal seeks to educate people across the globe about trans, bi, gay, and lesbian communities and relevant topics, such as the violence and discrimination they often face. The campaign's name originates from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
Designed to be informative and easily shared, "A History of LGBT Rights at the UN" educates viewers on the global state of LGBT equality, including that LGBT relationships are illegal in as many as 76 countries, but that progress continues to be made. For example, marriage equality exists in more than 40 countries. In recent years, The United Nations has released a resolution, published a report, and hosted an international debate, all regarding equality for LGBT people.
As important as inclusive policies and legislation are, we are reminded "it takes changes in peoples' hearts and minds," which can only happen if people everywhere "join together."
"A History of LGBT Rights at the UN" was created by the Remarkable Group's NÜKO, the same team behind the viral 2012 short film, "Homecoming," that advocates for an end to marriage discrimination. This latest video was unveiled today at the UN's headquarters in New York during the Human Rights Day event that featured openly LGBT speakers Martina Navratilova and Jason Collins, as well as the UN's Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic. Thomas Roberts, an openly gay anchor on MSNBC, was also in attendance. Over 1,000 organizations have received the short film, which is set to be translated into Spanish.
In a statement released by the UN, the organization's High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, "The history of human rights at the United Nations is as old as the institution itself. Today we remember where we came from and redouble our efforts to create a world in which no one is discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love.”
Watch and share @free_equal's video below to #jointogether and honor #lgbtequality for #HRD2013: