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ILGA's Secretaries General called the UN Vote "a disgrace"
VOTE TO DELETE "SEXUAL ORIENTATION" FROM UN RESOLUTION "A DISGRACE"

in WORLD, 17/11/2010

ILGA sharply condemns the decision by a U.N. General Assembly panel on Tuesday November 16, to delete the specific reference to killings due to sexual orientation from a resolution condemning unjustified and extra-judicial executions around the world. The omission was pushed by a group of Arab and African nations, led by Morocco and Mali, and while several western and southern nations voted against, the amendment narrowly passed 79-70.

PRESS RELEASE


Cuba and South Africa voting with the most homophobic Countries in the world

 

Brussels, 17 November 2010 -- The deletion of “sexual orientation” from the UN resolution on extra-judicial executions is an international disgrace of the first order, according to ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. The organization is reacting to the decision by a U.N. General Assembly panel on Tuesday November 16, to delete the specific reference to killings due to sexual orientation from a resolution condemning unjustified and extra-judicial executions around the world. The omission was pushed by a group of Arab and African nations, led by Morocco and Mali, and while several western and southern nations voted against, the amendment narrowly passed 79-70. The resolution then was approved by the committee, which includes all 192 U.N. member states, with 165 in favor, 10 abstentions and no votes against.

ILGA expresses its dismay about the voting behaviour of many countries in both panel and committee, and considers it a particular outrage to see countries like Cuba and South Africa, who have a recent track record of rejection of homophobia, on the same side of known homophobic governments. Gloria Careaga and Renato Sabbadini, ILGA's Secretary Generals, said in a quick reaction: “Yesterday's vote is a real disgrace set up by 79 governments trying to stop the increasing recognition of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people as human beings like all others. We consider this a temporary setback, though it saddens us to see Cuba and South Africa siding along with governments happy to incite hatred towards LGBTI people. We find Cuba's and South Africa's explanation of their vote extremely weak and it is difficult to believe that these two delegations ignored the real intention of the proponents of the amendment, i.e. defending discrimination on ground of sexual orientation by refusing to acknowledge its existence. We know that geopolitical considerations often play a role in these votes, but siding with those countries on those issues sends the wrong message and we are afraid that Cuba's and South Africa's claim to be against discrimination on ground of sexual orientation will suffer an unfortunate loss of credibility after this vote.”

ILGA’s leadership also wonders “where the five African Countries which signed the UN Statement of December 2008 on the decriminalisation of Homosexuality were during yesterday's vote. In two weeks ILGA will gather in Sao Paulo at the organization’s World Conference, and this dreadful episode at the UN General Assembly will certainly prompt us to come up with new strategies to respond to the futile attempts of those 79 homophobic and transphobic governments to reverse the course of history.”

Tuesday’s amendment actually deletes the words "sexual orientation" from the draft resolution, and replaces it with "discriminatory reasons on any basis." However, according to Reuters News Agency the British Representation warned the panel that "The subject of this amendment -- the need for prompt and thorough investigations of all killing, including those committed for ... sexual orientation -- exists in this resolution simply because it is a continuing cause for concern”. Also, 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. Only the reference to “sexual orientation” was deleted.

Contact Mario Kleinmoedig, Press Officer: Tel: +32(0)25022471/474075810 Email: director@ilga.org

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