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Bangladesh opposes UN call to legalize gay sex

Bangladesh opposes UN call to legalize gay sex

A top Bangladeshi diplomat has said the Muslim country will oppose any recommendations on LGBTI rights at an upcoming UN conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN, told the Dhaka Tribune, ‘It goes against our values. Like many other countries including those Muslims and Christian, we opposed it.’

Representatives from UN member states will discuss policy recommendations on LGBTI rights at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which will be held on September 22 at the 69th UN General Assembly in New York. It is expected to be a new battle ground as China, Russia, India and many other countries oppose such policies.

Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Health Secretary MM Neazuddin will attend the event.

Bangladesh expressed reservations about policies on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) at a regional ICPD conference in Bangkok last year.

The conference recommended policies that would ‘reduce vulnerability and eliminate discrimination based on sex, gender, age, race, caste, class, migrant status, disability, HIV status, sexual orientation and gender identity, or other status.’

It also expresses ‘grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination committed against individuals on the grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity.’

Momen said the recommendations had been sugar-coated and were ‘unacceptable.’

He said, ‘If you look at the texts, they talked about "eliminate discrimination" or "acts of violence," which sound very good but if read carefully, one can find that it actually preaches rights of the LGBT.

‘It goes against our values and laws, and we cannot it endorse it.

‘Even in the US, out of 50 states, only 16 allow rights of the LGBT.’

Bangladesh refused to decriminalize gay sex in September last year.