US votes against condemning death penalty for gay sex

US votes against condemning death penalty for gay sex
Photo credit: Getty / file

The United States is among just 13 countries to vote against a United Nations resolution condemning the death penalty for consensual gay sex.

It was joined by Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Human Rights Council was voting on a resolution that would condemn the use of the death penalty "arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner" for "specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations".

People in consensual same-sex relationships risk the death penalty in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan, as well as in Islamic State-occupied territories in Iraq and Syria.

Of those, only Saudi Arabia and Iraq have members on the Human Rights Council.

Despite the 13 negative votes, the resolution still passed with 27 nations voting in favour and seven abstaining. New Zealand was not part of the vote.

It's the first time the Human Rights Council has condemned the death penalty for gay relationships, according to Pink News.

Now, the US has been criticised for its stance on the matter, with Human Rights Council Global director Ty Cobb telling Pink News the Trump administration had a "blatant disregard for human rights and LGBTQ lives around the world".

"While the UN Human Rights Council took this crucially important step, the Trump/Pence administration failed to show leadership on the world stage by not championing this critical measure," he said, adding that the US ambassador had "failed the LGBTQ community" in the vote.

A White House spokesperson later tried to clarify the US's position on the vote to media, saying the negative vote wasn't specifically targeting the resolution regarding consensual same-sex relationships.

"As in years past, we voted against this resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution's approach to condemning the death penalty in all circumstances," the spokesperson said.

Newshub.