Trump administration votes against U.N. resolution condemning death penalty for same-sex relationsAround the World, Online Only, Top Highlights Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
GENEVA — The United States has voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning the use of the death penalty against those convicted of consensual same-sex sexual relations. The resolution passed by a 27-13 vote margin.
Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K. supported the resolution. Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined the U.S. in opposing it.
Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Cuba abstained.
The resolution asked countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not “applied arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner” and that it is not applied against persons with mental or intellectual disabilities and persons below 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, as well as pregnant women. It also condemns the imposition of the death penalty for apostasy, blasphemy and adultery.
“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” said Renato Sabbadini, executive director of The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). “This is a monumental moment where the international community has publicly highlighted that these horrific laws simply must end.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), reacted to the Trump administration — specifically U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley — for voting against the resolution.
“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,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “While the U.N. 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.”
As ILGA’s 2017 State-Sponsored Homophobia report highlights, there are currently six States (eight if we count the parts of Syria and Iraq still occupied by Isis) where the death penalty is implemented for same-sex relations, a further five where it is technically allowed (if not actually invoked), and one where it has not yet been implemented.
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