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Magda Hassan
11-24-2010, 11:27 AM
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people were once again subject to the whims of homophobia and religious and cultural extremism this week, thanks to a United Nations vote that removed “sexual orientation” from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. In other words, the UN General Assembly this week voted to allow LGBT people to be executed without cause.
According to the International Gay and Lesbians Human Rights Commission (http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/pressroom/pressrelease/1257.html), the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee (http://www.un.org/en/ga/third/index.shtml)on Social, Cultural and Humanitarian issues removed “sexual orientation” from a resolution addressing extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions this past week in a vote that was overwhelming represented by a majority of African, Middle East and Carribean nations. For a UN committee that addresses human rights questions that affect people all over the world, by removing protections for LGBT persons from a category of arbitrary executions, belies the objective and purpose of a committee whose focus this year is “on the examination of human rights questions (http://www.un.org/en/ga/third/index.shtml),” according to its website.
A number of LGBT human rights advocates were surprised by the decidedly lop-sided vote, including Mark Bromley (http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/un-general-assembly-votes-to-allow-gays-to-be-executed-without-cause/politics/2010/11/20/encourage%20a%20clearer%20and%20stronger%20America n%20voice%20on%20human%20rights%20concerns%20impac ting%20LGBT%20communities%20around%20the%20world.) , the chair of the Council on Global Equality (http://www.globalequality.org/index.php), a Washington, D.C. based organization that brings together human rights organizations, LGBT groups, philanthropists and corporate leaders to ”encourage a clearer and stronger American voice on human rights concerns impacting LGBT communities around the world.”
“I was very surprised by the vote,” said Bromley, who had been in contact with the United States Mission to the United Nations (http://www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov/) delegation all day Tuesday, who were trying to beat back efforts to strip sexual orientation from the resolution. But because the U.S. supports capital punishment, they usually abstain from voting on this resolution, thus they are in a weakened position with one arm tied behind their backs, according to Bromley. “But that said, the State Department did everything possible to beat back the efforts to repeal protections for LGBT persons,” he added.

For further analysis into this story, read Tanya Domi’s latest piece at The New Civil Rights Movement, “UN Vote Allowing Gays To Be Executed Result Of Political, Religious Fundamentalism (http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/un-vote-allowing-gays-to-be-executed-result-of-political-religious-fundamentalism/legislation/2010/11/23/15480).”