Last week, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted on a special resolution addressing extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions. The resolution affirms the duties of member countries to protect the right to life of all people with a special emphasis on a call to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. The resolution highlights particular groups historically subject to executions including street children, human rights defenders, members of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority communities, and, for the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation as a basis on which some individuals are targeted for death.
The tiny West African nation of Benin (on behalf of the UN's African Group) proposed an amendment to strike sexual minorities from the resolution. The amendment was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.
A collection of notorious human rights violators voted for the amendment ….They are all on the list of nations that do not think execution of gays and lesbians is worthy of condemnation or investigation…. In most countries in the Middle East, it is a crime to be gay--in some, like Saudi Arabia, it is punishable by beheading and in others, like Iran, by hanging.
The UN has a remarkable track record of doing virtually nothing when presented with mass killings or genocide. "Never again!" was the cry after the holocaust. Since then, the world has witnessed a dozen more never agains with strong condemnation from the UN coming after the corpses pile up. A resolution of the sort that was voted on in the General Assembly is significant for its clarity of message: "It's okay to kill the gays."
Thursday, December 9, 2010
UN: Okay to Kill The Gay
From the HuffPo (my emphases):