The United States was one of 13 countries that voted “no” on a United Nations resolution banning the death penalty for homosexuality. Fortunately, 27 countries voted “yes” on Friday, Sept. 29, which means the resolution passed.
André du Plessis, Head of U.N. Programme and Advocacy at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) told PinkNews that “No votes on this resolution as a whole are generally best-interpreted as a position by a country on the death penalty as a whole. It is important to point out that a ‘no’ vote on the resolution is not addressing same-sex relations, but the wider application of death penalty generally.”
However, as NewNowNext.com reports, “The resolution doesn’t call for the end to capital punishment altogether, but asks member nations not to use it in a ‘discriminatory manner’— including against against minors and pregnant women, or for blasphemy and consensual same-sex relations.”
The resolution was brought forward by Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia and Switzerland, countries that have made global LGBT rights a priority. Previous efforts by Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia to block or weaken the resolution failed.
Joining the U.S. in voting against the resolution were Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, China, Japan, Qatar, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — which currently has the death penalty for sodomy.
Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, told Pink News: “[U.S.] Ambassador [to the U.N. Nikki] 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. 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.”
— Tammye Nash