BREAKING: U.N. approves U.S. amendment, restores gays to genocide protections

Posted on 21 Dec 2010 at 6:09pm

The U.N. General Assembly adopted an amendment Tuesday afternoon to restore “sexual orientation” to a resolution condemning the unjustified killing of people from certain minority groups.

Sexual orientation had been removed from the resolution by a committee last month for the first time since 1999, at the request of Arab and African nations.

The amendment restoring sexual orientation was proposed by the U.S.

From the Associated Press:

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. member states have restored a reference to sexual orientation that was dropped amid much controversy last month from a resolution opposing the unjustified killing of minority groups.

The removal of the reference, done at the committee level last month, alarmed human rights advocates who said gay people are among minority groups that need special protection from extrajudicial and other unjustified killings.

The assembly on Tuesday voted 93 in favor of the United States’ proposal to restore the previous language, with 55 countries against and 27 abstaining. The assembly then approved the amended resolution 122 in favor, with 0 votes against, and 59 abstentions.

UPDATE: The White House issued the following statement about the vote:

“President Obama applauds those countries that supported the amendment offered by the United States to ensure that ‘sexual orientation’ remains covered by the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary execution. Killing people because of their sexual orientation cannot be rationalized by diverse religious values or varying regional perspectives. Killing people because they are gay is not culturally defensible — it is criminal.

“While today’s adoption of an inclusive resolution is important, so too are the conversations that have now begun in capitals around the world about inclusion, equality, and discrimination. Protecting gays and lesbians from state-sponsored discrimination is not a special right, it is a human right. Today’s vote in the United Nations marks an important moment in the struggle for civil and human rights. The time has come for all nations to redouble our efforts to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

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