Last month a coalition of African and Arabic nations forced the deletion of “sexual orientation” from a United Nations resolution condemning the “extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions” of certain classes of people. Next week the United States will attempt to have that phrase restored.
Speaking at a panel on Human Rights Day, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said she was “incensed” at the vote. “We are going to fight to restore the reference to sexual orientation,” she said. “We’re going to stand firm on this basic principle. And we intend to win.” The vote on this resolution is expected to come up in the General Assembly on 20 December 2010. The resolution, which the UN votes on every two years, has contained a reference to lesbian and gay people since 1999. It condemns extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions and other killings. It still includes references to a variety of other groups, such as human rights defenders, religious and ethnic minorities and street children.