United Nations dumps gays

The United Nations General Assembly voted Nov. 16 to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.

The resolution urges member states to protect the right to life of all people and calls on them to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in a list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based.

The amendment to remove sexual orientation was sponsored by the African nation of Benin. The vote was 79 to 70 with 17 abstentions and 26 absences.

"This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development," said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. "It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people — a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality."

The General Assembly’s move "flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence that people are routinely killed around the world because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and renders these killings invisible or unimportant," IGLHRC added in a joint statement with ARC International.

Voting to remove sexual orientation from the resolution were Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Voting to keep sexual orientation in the resolution were Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Abstaining were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Fiji, Mauritius, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Absent were Albania, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. – Bay Windows Contributor