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White House: Vote against United Nations death penalty resolution not about gays

03 Octobre 2017

The resolution asks for countries not to use the death penalty in a "discriminatory manner" for LGBT people, those with intellectual disabilities, people under 18 and pregnant women.

Coverage of the resolution has nearly exclusively focused on it being the first on the death penalty to pass while mentioning LGBT relationships, which advocacy groups like the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association have heralded as "historic".

They also urge that the death penalty shouldn't be used on people who have been convicted for blasphemy, adultery, apostasy, or for consensual same-sex relations.

"This is a monumental moment where the worldwide community has publicly highlighted that these horrific laws simply must end".

"The United States, for example, has the death penalty and has a consistent record of voting no on resolutions that are against it".

The resolution notably doesn't call for the end to the death penalty.

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The US was one of the 13 votes against, alongside Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, a point that led LGBT groups in particular to immediately respond, calling out the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in particular for her stance. "It is unconscionable to think that there are hundreds of millions of people living in states where somebody may be executed simply because of whom they love", said Renato Sabbadini, executive director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, said in a press release.

Angelo is facing criticism for defending the US vote on the resolution.

"My contacts at the United Nations have said were such a resolution to have been introduced or were it still to be introduced now, the United States would stand up and condemn the use of the death penalty to punish gay individuals or same-sex relationships, but that's not what this resolution is getting at". "While the United Nations 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".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said in March that the country would leave the HRC if there was no "considerable reform". "This administration's blatant disregard for human rights and LGBTQ lives around the world is beyond disgraceful". "We therefore urge all governments that employ the death penalty to do so in conformity with their global human rights obligations".

After the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse gay nightclub a year ago, Trump had said he would protect LGBT people from being killed by terrorists, but he appeared to have foreign governments in mind too: "Ask the gays what they think and what they do, in, not only Saudi Arabia, but many of these countries, and then you tell me - who's your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?"

White House: Vote against United Nations death penalty resolution not about gays