China, U.S. Vote Against UN Policy to Stop the Death Penalty For Being Gay

China, along with 12 countries including the United States, were among those who voted against a United Nations resolution condemning countries who sentence members of the LGBTQ community to death for having sex on September 29.

The resolution was drafted by the Human Rights Council and targeted countries where the death penalty is legal. It asked those countries to ensure that the penalty is not given in an “arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner” for those under 18, women who are pregnant, or those convicted of adultery, blasphemy, or having gay sex.

The UN managed to pass the resolution via a majority with 27 members voting in favor of the proposal.

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However, China’s stance on voting against the proposal is now being questioned by netizens as it showed the country’s support for the death penalty.

Given China’s reputation when it comes to death penalties, it’s highly likely that they share the same sentiments as the U.S. in voting against the resolution, according to Shanghaiist.

While homosexuality is not considered a crime in China, it is still known for carrying out the most executions annually compared to the rest of the world. China has taken a similar stance in previous UN resolutions.

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U.S. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert explained that they voted against the proposal over fear of “the abolition of the death penalty altogether.”

However, Nauert emphasized, “The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery and apostasy.”

The spokeswoman further clarified their stance stating that they don’t consider homosexuality as a “conduct appropriate for criminalization.”

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Despite the spokeswoman’s reasoning, LGBTQ+ groups have described the justification as “beyond disgraceful” for its “blatant disregard for human rights and LGBTQ lives,” according to The Independent.

As for China’s lack of support, it further highlights the practices of other countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, where homosexual relationships are grounds for the death penalty. Even with the UN’s efforts in trying to rid the world of the barbaric practice, there are countries that are still adamant in keeping their laws the way they currently stand.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons / InSapphoWeTrust (CC BY 2.0)

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