The US just voted not to condemn countries that have the death penalty for gay sex. Here's who they're keeping company with

Louis Dor
Wednesday 04 October 2017 08:45
news

The United States was one of 13 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to vote against a resolution asking countries in which the death penalty is legal to ensure it is not applied “arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner”.

Specifically, that it was not used to punish same-sex relationships, apostasy, blasphemy or adultery.

“The Question of the Death Penalty” passed with 27 nations voting in favour, while seven abstained.

Here's how countries voted:

In favour:

  • Albania
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Congo
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Hungary
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Portugal
  • Rwanda
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Togo
  • United Kingdom
  • Venezuela

Against:

  • Bangladesh
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States

Abstentions:

  • Cuba
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Korea
  • Tunisia

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association says there are currently six countries (eight if you include parts of Iraq and Syria occupied by Isis) in which the death penalty is implemented for same-sex relations.

The Human Rights Campaign called the United States' UN Ambassador NIkki Haley and the Trump administrations failure to support the resolution "beyond disgraceful".

Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, said:

Ambassador 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.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a 3 October press conference that despite the vote, the US "unequivocally condemns" the application of the death penalty to homosexuality, adultery and religious offences:

As our representative to the Human Rights Council said last Friday, the United States is disappointed to have voted against that resolution.

We voted against that resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution’s approach in condemning the death penalty in all circumstances, and it called for the abolition of the death penalty altogether.

We had hoped for a balanced and inclusive resolution that would better reflect the positions of states that continue to apply the death penalty lawfully, as the United States does.

The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery, and apostasy.

We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization.

You can read the Human Rights Council resolution here.

More: This map shows where it is still illegal to be gay

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