As if being gay or transgendered isn’t hard enough. Now, in certain countries you can be killed for no reason. On a 79-70 votes, the UN removed sexual orientation from a resolution that protected vulnerable populations from extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions. This was voted on by most African and Arab nations. For a list of the countries who voted for and voted against go here List of Countries. This new vote has caused a lot of anger from activists and the general public. This resolution was designed to protect those who were discriminated against. Sexual orientation was apart of this clause for 10 years until this recent decision.
“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, said in a statement. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.”
After researching I found that, written in 1948, the U.N. adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was written to provide a standard of agreement that all people deserve certain rights just because they are human. In article 1 it states, ”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Article 2 reminds us that everyone is entitled to these rights. In article 3 it states, ”Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” In article 5 it states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” And finally, in article 7 it states, “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.” Now these rights are not forced upon any country to obey, there is no punishment for disregarding these rights. The only thing other countries can do is ridicule the countries that don’t. I find this to be ridiculous, as if trans people and gay people didn’t have to face enough discrimination, now they can be executed just because of the homophobia that exists in the world. I feel ashamed that in this world a person can be criminally punished because of their sexual orientation, as is the case in Uganda. It is sad that the U.N. is allowing this considering their history with the declaration of human rights. The U.K. gay rights and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said, “This is a shameful day in United Nations history. It gives a de facto green light to the on-going murder of LGBT people by homophobic regimes, death squads and vigilantes. They will take comfort from the fact that the UN does not endorse the protection of LGBT people against hate-motivated murder.”