UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Postal Administration on Thursday released six new postage stamps promoting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The colorfully designed stamps by artist and UNPA art director Sergio Baradat are also meant to celebrate the diversity of the gay community and marks the first time the global body's post office has issued stamps with an LGBT theme.
The stamps were unveiled in a ceremony at the U.N. General Assembly building that included a performance by the New York Gay Men's Chorus.
"We need to change attitudes to one of acceptance," said Stephen Cutts, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for the Department of Management.
The stamps support the U.N. human rights office's Free & Equal campaign, which aims to promote fair treatment of the LGBT community.
Charles Radcliffe, chief of the global issues section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said there have been advances in human rights for members of the LGBT community, but more must be done because hate crimes are still too common and homosexuality is still criminalized in some countries.
The first United Nations stamps were issued in U.S. dollar denominations on United Nations Day, Oct. 24, 1951. Besides human rights, stamp themes have included peace, the environment and endangered species.