By Emily Geminder
29 July 2008 [MEDIAGLOBAL]: Of the more than 3,000 non-governmental organizations holding consultative status to the United Nations, only a handful address gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex issues. This week saw an incremental but significant step towards change: two groups, COC Netherlands and the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals of Spain (FELGTB), gained admittance to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
The impact of United Nations policy bears far-reaching implications for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals everywhere, and the community’s marginalization within the international framework has come under increasing scrutiny. According to South Africa based Gender Dynamix, Africa’s first transgender rights organization, discrimination against individuals who do not conform to conventional gender expression places them at high risk for HIV infection, compounding the impotence of national and global policies that fail to take sexual and gender minorities into account.