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HRC32: Statement by Denmark on Item 8 General Debate, 27 June 2016

32nd session of the Human Rights Council
Item 8 General Debate 27 June 2016
Statement by Denmark
[check against delivery]

Mr. President,
In Denmark same sex marriages are legal. We are proud of this. But even though we think that everyone should have the right to marry the person they love - whatever their gender, race, nationality, religion or ethnic origin, we do not presume to be able to impose this right on other countries in the world.
Just as we would not expect the Council to accept that we try to define family structures in other countries, so should we be able to expect that the Council will not pass a resolution on the protection of the family which fails to recognize that families can take various forms. The rejection by the sponsors of such a recognition can only be understood as an attempt to impose on us what the sponsors of this resolution would never accept to be imposed on them. We often hear member states in the Council arguing that we should refrain from imposing cultural values on each other. We agree. Family compositions differ in different cultural contexts. Recognizing this only becomes a problem if one presumes to export a specific set of cultural values to the rest of the world.
In the spirit of implementing the Vienna Declaration and the 2030 Agenda's promise of leaving no one behind and vision of a world of universal respect for human rights and non-discrimination we do however expect this Council to work to protect all vulnerable groups against violence and discrimination. Last year the Council established a mandate for the protection of people with Albinism on the request of the African group. We supported this pertinent mandate. During this session, a number of Latin American countries are asking the Council to establish a mandate to protect LGBTI persons from violence and discrimination. We are at a loss to understand why a number of states would disagree with the establishment of such a mandate.
Thank you.