US votes against banning death penalty for LGBTIQ people

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The United States has been criticised for voting against a United Nations resolution that sought to eliminate the death penalty for the LGBTIQ community. The US was among 13 nations including Saudi Arabia and Iraq to vote down the resolution.

The resolution condemned “the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations”.

Despite the US vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the historic resolution with a 27-13 margin.

The State Department later defended the move by wrongfully claiming the resolution called for a complete ban on the death penalty.

The move has sparked broad criticism from human rights advocates and members of the LGBTIQ community.

“Ambassador Haley has failed the LGBTQ community by not standing up against the barbaric use of the death penalty to punish individuals in same-sex relationships,” Ty Cobb, director of Human Rights Council Global, said in a statement.

“While the UN Human Rights Council took this crucially important step, the Trump/Pence administration failed to show leadership on the world stage by not championing this critical measure. This administration’s blatant disregard for human rights and LGBTQ lives around the world is beyond disgraceful.”

LGBTIQ groups have criticised the decision.

“This is a monumental moment where the international community has publicly highlighted that these horrific laws simply must end,” Renato Sabbadini, executive director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA, said in a statement.

“It is unconscionable to think that there are hundreds of millions of people living in States where somebody may be executed simply because of whom they love.”

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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