UN Removes Gays From Execution Protections
The United Nations has voted to remove sexual orientation from a resolution against immoral executions. Sexual orientation had been on the list for the past ten years, alongside religion, ethnicity, and language as unacceptable reasons to execute civilians.
The motion, which was introduced by Morocco and Mali, was supported by 79 countries, opposed by 70, and there were 17 to abstain.
Looking over the list, I found very few surprises, with the exception of South Africa, which voted in favour of removing gays from execution protections despite having legalized same-sex marriage in 2006 via parliamentary vote. I’m not under the impression that South Africa has solved all of its homophobia problems, but their vote is a pretty bizarre contradiction and certainly a large step backwards.
At any rate, if you need a good reason why human rights issues should never be put to a vote, this seems like a pretty compelling demonstration. The deletion sends a baffling message to the world, easily interpretable as a sort of OK to executing gays simply for having a different sexual orientation.
Good thing the UN doesn’t have any real power. Still, I guess this means I should cancel my vacation to Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Salam, 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, 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, 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, and Zimbabwe. (And I was so looking forward to it, too.)
(Special thanks to Slap reader Alex for the story!)
- The United Nations of homophobia [National Post]
- UN deletes gay reference from anti-execution measures [Pink News]