Michael Hamar

UN General Assembly Votes To Allow Gays To Be Executed Without Cause

Filed By Michael Hamar | November 21, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: gay travel, murder, religion as an evil, religious fundamentalism, ted Nationsboycott of anti-gay countries, Uni

In a vote that makes a mockery of the concept of human rights, the United Nations General Assembly voted to voted to removed "sexual orientation" from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. Driving the anti-gay vote were the majority of African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean nations.

For LGBT individuals around the world, in my view, we (and our straight allies) need to

  1. Demand that our home countries cut off all foreign aid to anti-gay nations
  2. Boycott all travel to such nations - Caribbean nations of the Bahamas and Jamaica could be particularly vulnerable to travel boycotts
  3. Avoid purchasing any products derived from them to the maximum extent practicable

In the case of Africa, we also need to spotlight the anti-gay hatred being fueled by Christianist organizations from the West.

Once again, I find myself believing that religion has truly become a leading force for evil in the world today. Societal stigma needs to become something not aimed at LGBT individuals, but rather aimed at those individuals, nations and religious organizations that fuel anti-gay bigotry and hatred.

The NewCivilRightsMovemement.com has details. Here are highlights:

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people were once again subject to the whims of homophobia and religious and cultural extremism this week, thanks to a United Nations vote that removed "sexual orientation" from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. In other words, the UN General Assembly this week voted to allow LGBT people to be executed without cause.

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. "The UN vote is in direct defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees equal treatment, non-discrimination and the right to life. What is the point of the UN if it refuses to uphold its own humanitarian values and declarations?

"This vote is partly the result of a disturbing homophobic alliance between mostly African and Arab states, often inspired by religious fundamentalism. LGBT people in these countries frequently suffer severe persecution."

Bromley expressed great disappointment in losing all the Southern African countries on the vote, including Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Nambia and South Africa, the latter, whose domestic laws and record on LGBT civil rights have held great regard throughout the world.

Another region that unanimously supported the removal of sexual orientation from the resolution were the Carribean nations. Most noteworthy was the support from the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.

Middle East countries that principally observe the Muslim religion and its practices, as well as countries whose politics are dominated by Christian fundamentalists, generally oppose LGBT and women's rights at the UN. Even the United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Indeed, CEDAW has the most "reservations" filed by the most member states of any international human rights convention on record.

We need to make anti-gay bigotry have a real monetary price. For those who would like to voice their disappointment, here are e-mail addresses for the Bahamas, South Africa, and Jamaica tourism ministries. Tell these outlets that you and all your friends will be making a point to make their nations travel pariahs:

Jamaica: USA: info@visitjamaica-usa.com (1-800-526-2422); Canada: jtb@visitjamaica-ca.com, (800) 465-2624; Europe: (London) (44) 207-225-9090; (Germany) 49 (0) 2104 832974,

The Bahamas: tourism@bahamas.com, 1-800-Bahamas

South Africa - Ministry head: +27 83 778 9923 Email: raucamp@tourism.gov.za

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Link to article on Rep. Jared Polis' (D-Colo) 2009 visit to Iraq regarding anti-gay murders:

www.politico.com/Dem_decries_antigay_murders_in_Iraq_.html - Cached - Similar

In the past whenever boycotts of Jamaica have been raised, they have always been shouted down because a gay leader in Jamaica keeps saying that the boycott will hurt LGBT's as well

Well, sorry, your nation is hurting us now. I am very supportive of the cause of LGBT's in Jamaica and Africa, but there has to be consequences for a nation that votes to make it possible for quasi-minitary police to simply pick us off the street, stand us up against a building, and shoot us.

Not only should WE boycott Jamiaca, we should boycott all of the listed nations AND push for travel warnings "The State Department is warning travellers that they may be executed without trial if the travellers are even suspected of being gay"

theflyingarab | November 21, 2010 10:49 PM

"I am very supportive of the cause of LGBT's in Jamaica and Africa, but there has to be consequences for a nation that votes to make it possible for quasi-minitary police to simply pick us off the street, stand us up against a building, and shoot us."

What, exactly, do you support? If a gay person who LIVES IN one of these countries TELLS YOU what you should or should not do about the situation -- and look! one of them did! -- then maybe you ought to listen to them. Because look: this isn't about you. I know you think it is, but the truth is you are SAFE from the "quasi-military police" that rounds up and shoots LGBT people in those countries because you DON'T LIVE IN THEM. When we "punish" other nations -- especially impoverished ones -- we're punishing LGBTQ people in those nations as well. We're MAKING IT WORSE for them. Isn't that exactly what we're against? Why do our egos, as Westerners, matter more than people's lives?

Fortunately, no matter how much ~righteous anger~ is scrounged up, boycotting rather unspecific regions of the world (do we even know which countries we're talking about? the report fails to mention them in full) will be ineffectual. What Nambian products can't Western gay guys live without? When were we planning our next vacation in Iran? Give me a break, please.

What, exactly, do you support? If a gay person who LIVES IN one of these countries TELLS YOU what you should or should not do about the situation -- and look! one of them did! -- then maybe you ought to listen to them.

Of course not. We're the educated, cultured, cosmopolitan experts. What do those savages know about running their own countries?

With Jamaica it was interesting because LGBT Jamaicans said that Red Stripe beer, the primary target of that boycott (which fizzled out not because of anything LGBT Jamaicans said since it's not like the organizers cared what they thought anyway, but because the organizers lost interest several weeks later and said as much on their site), is the most LGBT-friendly employer in the country. But what would they know about their country? They're just illiterate Jamaicans (the actual response from two of those organizers: We know LGBT Jamaicans didn't write their statements against the boycott because Jamaicans can't write!).

Maybe we can try to work on this from the perspective that at least a few of those countries didn't reject the resolution because they practice summary executions of gays, that they had another reason? I find it hard to believe that Cuba, Monaco, South Africa, and South Korea, among others, are actually planning summary executions of gays and just want to keep the UN out of the way. Getting the State Department to put up travel warnings about summary executions of LGBT's to those countries, when one has same-sex marriage and another civil unions and another fully funds GRS, is just silly.

If we want to change those countries, it'll require work that no one reading this post is willing to do, which is to go there and help organize the queer population. Or maybe we could attack poverty, since the thing I notice about many of those countries isn't the religion but their poverty.

Either that or get Obama/Clinton to muscle a few more yes votes... oh, wait.

theflyingarab | November 22, 2010 4:31 PM

Good christ, I didn't know that bit about Jamaica, though I have to say I'm not surprised in the least. Thanks, Alex -- your comments are always very insightful.

this isn't about you... That's dead wrong. It is about Maureen and it is about all of us.

Bigotry is not a national question and doesn't have a national solution. Our movement is internationalist at its core - we are all brothers and sisters . What endangers us in Teheran, Rome, Baghdad, London and Kampala endangers us all.

In my opinion the focus of our activity in North America should to demand that the US, Mexico and Canada grant asylum to GLBT refugees and suppress the illegal behavior of christian cults who interfere in the affairs of other nations to promote the murder of LGBT folks.

Calls for boycotts, if organized internationally and with consultations with everyone involved are important tools in lessening repression. The Ugandan pogrom law was written and underwritten by scum like Obama's BBF and other dominationist scum. Clearly these christers think they can get away with mass murder there. Equally clear is that if state sponsored murders start there these laws will be exported. Those who deny that are dangerously clueless and self destructive.

california panda | November 22, 2010 12:55 AM

Garab: although I do tend to abhor group punishment for individual transgressions, I don't see you offering any alternative.

Each society is made up of social, financial, legal, political, and religious elements that can be manipulated to achieve certain goals, We do have some financial influence in the situation as Maura suggests through outside money. We can't directly affect their legal or governmental systems except by means that affect interactions through our own government. We may be able to pressure our own goverment to recognize that certain actions by the target goverment are harmful and censure them in some way. That may be an option to explore. Affecting change in their their social systems requires that we operate directly with individuals and groups in those countries. Religious systems are notoriously resistant and slow to change. But there are means to work there too.

To affect real change tho we have to do it one person at a time. And the first one to start with is ourselves. I do agree, however, that money is just one dimension in a multi-dimensional war against bigotry and intolerance. The pieces have to all work together to accomplish change in any reasonable time span.

theflyingarab | November 22, 2010 4:56 PM

Garab: although I do tend to abhor group punishment for individual transgressions, I don't see you offering any alternative.

My alternative is: don't boycott. Just because we've been given one knee-jerk, imperialist, poorly thought-out course of action does not mean it's a good idea to follow through.

Furthermore: why are you asking me? The appropriate people to ask are those who are affected the most. Those are LGBT communities who live in these countries. Instead of wasting our resources on a pointless, punitive boycott, we can use them to reach out to these groups. It may be hard to hear that we (relatively) rich, educated Westerners may not have all the answers to the world's problems, but the sooner we realize it, the more helpful and cooperative we become to people in need.

Justus Eisfeld | November 22, 2010 1:24 AM

While I am not exactly thrilled with the results of the vote, I believe that a bit of nuance is in place: the vote was about leaving 'including sexual orientation' out after 'on any grounds'. While this is a major step back, it is *not* the same as calling for the arbitrary execution of all queer people.
For the rest I completely agree with theflyingarab. Boycots only create more hostility against queer people, including the queer people you are claiming to protect.

And this is what Tony Perkins, Peter LaBarbera, Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher would like to see happen in this country. They are all working to criminalize homosexuality in the United States of America. Gays who voted for Repugnicants or just didn't vote in the last election have given them a majority in the House to get started. There's a good reason Thomas Jefferson didn't think there should be a national religion; xtianists do not follow Christ's teachings. They are simply small-minded bigots who want to return to the 18th century form of government.

There are no appreciable differences between Democrats and Republicans in terms of their constant rightwing opposition to our agenda.

What differences there are boil down to the fact that Democrat politicians are better liars than Republicans, whose bigotry is so well know they rarely even bother lying any more.

There is no point being duped into siding with Democrat bigots against Republican bigots. That's why millions of smart voters ignored DNC/HRC/WH fear mongering and stayed home. Those who vote for Republicans blunder as much as those who vote for Democrat politicians.

To pretend that Democrat politician are on our side perpetuate the reign of homohating bigots like the Clintons and Obama in government. Clinton gave us DADT and DOMA and Obama refuses to repeal them or pass ENDA. They're as worthless to us as Palin, Bush and McCain.

infulleffect | November 22, 2010 1:05 PM

Amen, brother!

If the Democrats pass DADT repeal in the next four weeks, and Obama signs it, the readers of this site deserve a complete and total apology from Bill Perdue, who uses every issue to attack the Democratic Party.

Sorry, I don't apologize for criticizing the bigotry of peopole like Obama and Palin.

Nor will the 30 million Obama voters who smartened up and stayed home this time around.

Your equivalence of Obama and Palin, and Democrats and Republicans, in terms of anti-gay bigotry, is breathtaking. We are now seeing North Carolina preparing to ban gay marriage in their Constitution, because on Nov. 2 the GOP took over Raleigh from the Democrats, who refused for years to take up this anti-gay bill. We are seeing New Hampshire, which passed gay marriage under Democratic control of Concord, now talking about removing marriage rights for gays, now that Republicans have taken control of their state legislature. Wherever the GOP has made gains, they are talking about rolling back gains for LGBTs. Your equivalence of Democrats and Republicans on gay rights is delusional and false propaganda.

Your attempted equivalence of the fights for GLBT equality and the partisan needs of the Democrats is wrong headed and a blunder. Almost 30 million voters got smart and you Democrats got clobbered this time around. That's payback for DADT, DOMA and no ENDA.

You Democrats gave us DADT and DOMA in the first place. Your Republican cousins gave us 40 odd state DOMAs. Both of you oppose repeal of DADT and DOMA and enactment of ENDA. (In reality, not in terms of political lies.) Deciding which of the two (or three) major parties of bigotry is worse is a moot question. They're all the enemy.

Attempting to tie together the fortunes of a partisan gang of unprincipled political hustlers to the LGBT agenda produces dangerous results like putting bigots in the White House.

Apologize for Obama! And for Biden, DADT, Pelosi, DOMA and the refusal of your party to enact ENDA or a comprehensive, and inclusive CRA. And apologize for Obama's four wars and the 15 million long term unemployed.

Then we can discuss treatment alternatives for recovering Democrats.

The news about the Cuban and South African votes is a big setback.

The South African vote was expected because the Zuma government is continuing the ANC's headlong retreat from revolutionary potential change in SA. It marks a resurgence of the antigay sentiments of the Stalinist SA Communist Party.

Jacob Zuma, President of SA and the ANC was a member of the Politbureau of the SA Communist Party in the 1990's.

The Cuban vote is another sudden change in 'party line' reflecting the internal fight going on in the Cuban CP. It's a little surprising coming on the heels of Fidel Castro's admission of their errors pursuing an anti-LGBT agenda in the 1970's and further proof that Raul Castro, a long time Stalinist, is running the show.

Both are inexcusable and both are betrayals of GLBT people worldwide.

As for boycotts I think they should be organized to do maximum economic damage to countries like Iran, US occupied Iraq, Jamaica and other countries susceptible to boycotts. Boycotts have to be big to win and based on an understanding between global activists and GLBT folks in the countries affected. LBGT NGO's like ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), labor groups like the AFL-CIO, CLC, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and even the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have to be involved.

In my opinion our biggest campaign should be to demand that the US government open its consulates and embassies and offer long term asylum to victims of homohating governments like the US puppet regime in Iraq, the mad ayatollahs of Iran and the Ugandan pogromists, organized by Obama's BBF Rick Warren.

Absolute rubbish. I hope this gets worldwide attention.

Yes, we should demand asylum be offered for LGBT people who are in fear of persecution in their home country...until such time as we ourselves strat getting rounded up due to the Palinites' taking over...

(Oh, Canada!)