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United Nations restores ‘sexual orientation’ to anti-execution resolution

Sunday, December 26, 2010
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In a follow-up to a story we covered last month, the United Nations last week voted to restore a reference to killings due to sexual orientation that had been deleted from a resolution condemning unjustified executions.

The United States led a successful effort on Tuesday to return LGBT people to the list of those whose extrajudicial executions the U.N. condemns.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. reintroduced the language to send an unequivocal message that “No one should be killed for who they are.”

In November, the United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Committee approved a proposal by several Arab and African nations to remove “sexual orientation” from a resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions.

In addition to slayings over sexual orientation, the resolution specifies many other types of violence — killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups.

The UN’s main assembly normally passes similar resolutions every two years, and the most recent resolution in 2008 declaration had contained an specific reference to LGBT killings.

“The United Nations General Assembly has sent a clear and resounding message that justice and human rights apply to all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

The U.S.-backed amendment passed with 93 countries voting yes, 55 voting no and 27 abstaining.

President Obama said the vote “marks an important moment in the struggle for civil and human rights,” and that the “time has come for all nations to redouble our efforts to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

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