UPDATE: The United States has stepped in to restore the protection for sexual minorities.
Tomorrow is International Day Against Homophobia, and apparently the United Nations is celebrating by implicitly allowing killing of gays by stripping protections from sexual minorities.
Last week, the tiny West African nation of Benin proposed an amendement to eliminate sexual minorities from a resolution calling for adequate investigations of extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions based on discriminatory grounds. The resolution is meant to protect typically persecuted peoples, such as street children, human rights activists, members of ethnic/religious groups, and for the past 10 years, sexual minorities.
Unbelievably, the amendment to the resolution was passed with a vote of 79 for, 70 against, 17 abstentions, and 26 absent. This means that nations can no longer be reprimanded for killing gays and lesbians – or people who are accused to be gay and lesbian.
No Muslim nations voted against the resolution, and the list of countries that voted for the resolution (full list below) included countries notorious for denying rights to gays and lesbians – and even encouraging violence: Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, North Korea, Iran, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Also, as Thor Halvorssen from the Human Rights Foundation notes:
Add to this Bahamas, Belize (where you get 10 years for being gay), Jamaica (10 years of hard labor), Grenada (10 years), Guyana (life sentence), Saint Kitts and Nevis (10 years), Saint Lucia (10 years), Saint Vincent (10 years), South Africa (Apartheid? What apartheid?), and Morocco (ruled by a gay monarch!). They are all on the list of nations that do not think execution of gays and lesbians is worthy of condemnation or investigation.
Uganda has been at the center of the worldwide controversy of imprisoning and/or assaulting gay people for simply being themselves. Kasha Jacqueline courageously spoke recently at the Oslo Freedom Forum, risking retaliation, torture, and death to spread the word about the ongoing persecution of gays and lesbians in Uganda. Watch this, and you will be pissed off!
The United Nations claims to prevent genocides – never again! never another Holocaust! – and yet, time and again, this international body simply passes resolution after the fact, when the dead bodies are already piled high. What do we have to do to get the world to realize that gays and lesbians deserve basic human rights and fundamental protections? It’s incredible that the majority of nations believe that gays and lesbians to not deserve the basic right to life.
In favor of the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the UN resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (79 nations):
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Sala, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of 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, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Opposed to the UN amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (70 nations):
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, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia (FS), Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
Abstain (17 nations):
Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Fiji, Mauritius, Mongolia, Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
Absent (26 nations):
Albania, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Marshall Island, Mauritania, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Sao Tome Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan