Monday, January 10, 2011

UN restores gay clause to killings resolution

UN member states have voted to restore a controversial reference to sexual orientation in a resolution against the unjustified killing of minority groups.

The clause had been removed after pressure from some Arab and African member states but the US had pushed to have it reinstated.

The General Assembly voted 93 in favour of the US proposal, with 55 countries voting against and 27 abstaining.

The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, welcomed the adoption of the amended resolution, saying it sent a "clear and resounding message" that justice and human rights applied to all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.

But ahead of the vote, Zimbabwe's ambassador to the UN, Chitsaka Chipaziwa, attacked the US amendment, saying there was no need to refer explicitly to sexual orientation.

The General Assembly passes resolutions condemning extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions and other killings every two years.

The original 2008 declaration had included an explicit reference to killings committed because of the victims' sexual orientation.

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