The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to condemn countries who use the death penalty on gay people.
Although the resolution passed with 27 countries voting for the measure – 13 countries including the United States voted against.
Being gay is still punishable by death in six countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen.
Although not countrywide, there are also parts of Nigeria and Somalia where the death penalty is in use against LGBTI people too.
Meanwhile, gay people are also being killed in so-called ISIS-held territories in Northern Iraq and Northern Syria.
However, this resolution doesn’t call for an end to death as punishment. Instead, it calls on countries who have the death penalty to make sure they do not use it in a ‘discriminatory manner.’
This means not using the death penalty on:
- people with intellectual disabilities
- below 18 years of age at the time of the crime
- pregnant women
- for apostasy
- or consensual same-sex relations
This is not the first time the UN has made this kind of statement. More than a decade ago, the now-disbanded UN Human Rights Commission passed a similar resolution. The United Nations General Assembly in New York also passes a resolution on ‘extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions’ every two years. However, this resolution is the first by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
There were six attempts by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Russia to change the resolution. This could have watered down the wording and therefore, impact of the motion. Despite this, the amendments all failed to allow the measure to pass.
These are the 13 countries that voted against the resolution, including USA. Read more via Gay Star News