UN: Don’t Arbitrarily Kill Gay People, Guys (Nudge Wink)

It’s ridiculous this hasn’t received more coverage. It’s absurd that it happened last week and I’m just hearing about it now (thanks for the tip, Dechene!).

In a nutshell, every two years the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions. The resolution includes specific mention of groups meriting special consideration for not-killing, including “national or ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities”, “refugees, internally displaced persons,migrants, street children or members of indigenous communities” and “Human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists or demonstrators”.

For the past decade, this resolution has contained special mention of  “all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation”.

This year, African and Islamic countries ganged up to put the kibosh on those three words in a 79-70 vote. “Blah blah redundant blah technicality blah,” they said.

The Reuters story from last week is here. From that:

The resolution, which is expected to be formally adopted by the General Assembly in December, specifies many other types of violence, including killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups.

“It’s a step backwards and it’s extremely disappointing that some countries felt the need to remove the reference to sexual orientation, when sexual orientation is the very reason why so many people around the world have been subjected to violence,” said Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch.

Want more? Patrick Strudwick’s analysis in the Guardian is spot-on:

it’s not just cowardice and “cultural respect” taken to its unethical extreme here. Until there are some common beliefs agreed on between member states over the nature of homosexuality, any hope for progressive dialogue is severely impaired.

Many member states don’t recognise homosexuality as a concept or an identity. The belief, too, that homosexuality is a western “problem” or “disease” is widespread. More endemic, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, is the notion that being gay is a choice. This is why American “reparative therapists” – those who believe homosexuality is a “broken” sexuality that can be “cured” by prayer and therapy – have been welcomed in Uganda and Kenya to whip up anti-gay sentiment.

Finally, who voted and how is in this press release from the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. And here’s the unrevised UN resolution so you can see how the changes work in context.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

4 thoughts on “UN: Don’t Arbitrarily Kill Gay People, Guys (Nudge Wink)”

  1. I absolutely noted that but forgot to mention it in the post (which ended up being much longer than I meant it to be). Was very, very angry about that. Terrible, foolish move Cuba. I expect better from you.

    And hey, Barb–thanks for clicking on those links!

  2. The lack of coverage is not surprising as I suspect most people would think: Ok, but why does the matter? It doesn’t change any legal matter and more than anything is just an omission.

    People generally don’t realize that small things like this will result in changes down the road. The door has been opened and now future items that reduce acceptance of gays will continue to be brought up. It is the start of death by a thousand paper cuts.

    Ok, I’m done my rant for the day.

  3. Just now something struck me about the “being gay is/isn’t a choice” argument: that it’s entirely irrelevant. In fact, if it is a choice, then it ought to be a choice that is a human right to make. The whole nurture vs. nature thing doesn’t MATTER — people ought not be persecuted for keeping sexual company with or having sexual attraction to members of their own sex. Why does the “choice” thing always come into it? Seems to me if you’re born gay/bi/trans/whatever and that’s just how you are for the duration of your life, then the nuts will just say that it’s some sort of evil sinful nature that you have to overcome or some crap.

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