US votes against UN resolution denouncing death penalty for same-sex relationships

US votes against UN resolution denouncing death penalty for same-sex relationships

Many have campaigned for LGBT rights

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution in Geneva which denounces the death penalty for same-sex relationships, but of the countries who voted against it, one stood out from the rest. 

Of the 47 members of the council who voted on the resolution, 27 were in favour, 13 against and seven abstained.

Most of those that voted against the resolution were Middle Eastern ,states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In fact there was only one Western country on the 'against' list: The United States.

As well as same-sex relationships, the resolution also covered blasphemy and adultery, which often means women are punished disproportionately and even blamed for their husband's marital transgressions.

It condemned the use of the death penalty for those who, at the time of their crime, were pregnant, under 18 or had mental health issues or learning difficulties.

The US also supported two amendments which had been submitted by Russia, stating that the death penalty isn't necessarily a violation of human rights, according to The Independent.

The amendments also said the penalty is not torture, however admitted in some cases it can lead to torture. Both amendments failed to pass.

However America chose to abstain from a vote on an amendment given by Saudi Arabia, which claimed all countries should be allowed the right to create their own penalties and laws.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) claimed the tabled amendments were just an attempt to reduce the impact of the resolution.