UN votes against protecting gays from execution

November 22, 2010

In what can only be described as terrifying news, the United Nations has removed a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution condemning arbitrary and unjustified executions. The resolution contained a reference opposing the execution of gay people in its 2008 version. But this year, the new version was passed minus the reference to gay rights. This was because a group of mostly African and Asian countries, voted to remove it. 79 countries that voted to remove the reference to sexual orientation from the resolution, including Uganda, Afghanistan, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Most Western countries, including the US, voted in favor of keeping the reference to sexual orientation in place. The US abstained from the final vote to approve the resolution, with American diplomats telling the UN that the US was “dismayed” at the decision.

“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, said in a statement. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.”

That reference was to a bill introduced in Uganda in 2009 that would allow the death penalty for acts of gay sex or for any gay person carrying HIV. Regardless of international outrage, Ugandan officials said last month the bill would soon be law.

Here is a full list of the 79 nations that would like the right to execute you if you are gay or have HIV:

In favor of the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (79):

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