France’s new president François Hollande called for a global decriminalization of homosexuality at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept 25.
It was the first time a head of state had ever spoken out on homosexuality at the UN General Assembly, according to Gay Star News.
During his 15 minute speech, Hollande said France must lead the way in the struggle for universal human freedoms.
Hollande said France would fight for women’s rights, for the abolition of the death penalty and for “the universal decriminalization of homosexuality, which should not be recognized as a crime but, on the contrary, recognized as a [sexual] orientation.”
Hollande said France would raise these issues at the UN.
“All member countries have the obligation to guarantee the security of their citizens,” said Hollande. “It is then imperative that we, the United Nations, facilitate the necessary means to make that guarantee.”
Louis-Georges Tin, a French human rights advocate, recently went on a hunger strike to raise awareness about criminalization of homosexuality.
Homosexuality is a criminal offence in many UN member countries. It is also subject to capital punishment in eight of the member nations.
Hollande’s government recently affirmed it plans to legalize same-sex marriage in France.