US defends vote against banning death penalty for LGBT people

The Trump/Pence administration is under fire from LGBT rights organisations after the vote


Above: Heather Nauert, State Department Spokesperson



The US is one of 13 countries to have voted against a United Nations resolution condemning the death penalty for having “consensual same-sex relations”.


Although the vote condemning the death penalty has been passed, America joined Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in opposing the motion.


The Human Rights resolution condemned the imposition of the death penalty and urged states that: “have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not imposed as a sanction for specific forms of conduct such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations.”


The move marks the first time the Human Rights Council has condemned the death penalty for LGBT people.


Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global told PinkNews: “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 UN 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.”



The US State Department has since insisted it voted against the resolution due to “broader concerns”.


Heather Nauert, State Department Spokesperson, said:


“There was a vote at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and we have seen a lot of reporting about that, press releases that have criticized the U.S. Government’s vote at the Human Rights Council on the question of the death penalty.


“The headlines and much of the reporting that has come out of that has been misleading.


“As our representative to the Human Rights Council said on Friday, 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.”


PinkNews has launched a petition calling for Donald Trump to “support ending the death penalty for being gay”. You can sign the petition here.



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