Thursday, December 30, 2010

UN reinstates sexual orientation protection against extrajudicial executions

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United Nations flag


Remember how the UN, mostly African and Islamic countries, disturbingly voted to remove sexual orientation as a basis for protection against discriminatory extrajudicial executions last November? We have some good news: The UN General Assembly has approved an amendment sponsored by the Obama administration to reinstate it. From Reuters:

The 192-nation General Assembly approved a U.S. amendment to the resolution that restored the reference to sexual orientation with 93 votes in favor, 55 against and 27 abstentions. The amended resolution was then adopted with 122 yes votes, none against and 59 abstentions.

The main opposition to the U.S. amendment came from Muslim and African nations, which had led the push to delete the reference to sexual preference from the resolution last month.

As I’ve stated before, I doubt this actually does anything in a concrete sense, under the reasoning that countries that are willing to slaughter gays (amongst others) probably aren’t exactly the sort that have much respect for things like human rights in the first place. But nonetheless, it was revolting that enough UN countries originally voted to actually remove the basis of sexual orientation from the list of protected groups, and all the more telling was that those countries were, unironically enough, the some of the worst offenders when it comes to homophobic violence. It’s comforting to see the US take the lead in this case and win with such a decent margin.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)