Asia was one of two continents from where countries abstained, supported and opposed a recent United Nations Human Rights Council to address violence and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Human Rights Council's first-ever formal UN inter-governmental debate on violence and discrimination against LGBT people on March 7 was marked by the walk out by many representatives from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab group and the African group.
Hillary Clinton's fine speech in Geneva on LGBT rights saw the US playing catch-up to initiatives of a dozen other Western countries. As activists, we welcome the US to the process. But dawn is not yet breaking everywhere. There are many time zones. Douglas Sanders contemplates the time lag for Asia.
Gay rights groups around the world have hailed the development as a "stunning development" that has demonstrated "unprecedented support" for the Statement on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity that calls on States to end violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Pioneer gay group People Like Us and other civil society groups in Singapore have submitted reports on the country's human rights track record ahead of Singapore's first review by the UN as part of a periodic review of all UN member states.
The latest decision comes after a "no-action" vote last month by a bloc of anti-gay nations which stalled the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's 3-year application process for consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.