State Dept. Elaborates Position on Homosexuality and the Death Penalty

by Abel Hampton October 5, 2017, 0:11
State Dept. Elaborates Position on Homosexuality and the Death Penalty

A White House National Security Council spokesperson said Tuesday the vote against the measure is consistent with other us votes at the United Nations against the death penalty resolution in previous administrations.

The United States was among 13 nations including Saudi Arabia and Iraq to vote down the resolution.

In fact, the United States voted in favor of amendments that would have limited the resolution's scope.

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. Multiple studies and reports by the United Nations have found that the death penalty is often applied in various discriminatory ways across the world, including disproportionate use against women, racial minorities, poor and economically vulnerable people, and foreign nationals.

Reports say that "India believes that there's no reason to denounce the state killing of lesbian and gay people" and the resolution was against the usage of the death penalty "arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner", also including for homosexuality.

The amendments also said the penalty is not torture, however admitted in some cases it can lead to torture. She says the "no" vote was because of broader concerns around criticizing countries 'lawfully using the death penalty'. 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.

Rights activists have condemned the Trump administration and its United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, for refusing to back the measure, with the Human Rights Campaign slamming the decision as "beyond disgraceful". If we included parts of Syria and Iraq occupied by ISIS, it rises to eight.

The first provision of the resolution, and the source for the outrage over the U.S.'s vote, "Urges all States to protect the rights of persons facing the death penalty and other affected persons by complying with their global obligations, including the rights to equality and non-discrimination".

The State Department later defended the move by wrongfully claiming the resolution called for a complete ban on the death penalty. "We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization", Nauert said.

The United States has consistently failed to take action on resolutions on capital punishment.

Nikki Haley tweeted some facts about the vote, emphasizing that the US has "always fought for justice for the LGBT community", and that the same USA vote took place under the Obama administration without controversy, likely referring to the Obama administration abstaining from voting on a similar resolution in 2014 which also advocated for the abolition of the death penalty but did not include the language about same-sex relations.

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