The U.S. Voted Against Condemnation of Death Penalty for Discrimination Because it included Death Penalty Ban on the Whole

The United States Department of State has shocked the world with its recent vote in the UN. It voted ‘no’ on a resolution titled “The Question of the Death Penalty” brought about by the United Nations. The resolution expressly condemned the death penalty being doled out for any ‘same-sex relations’ along with other related acts.

The UN Human Rights Council passed the resolution with 27 countries voting for it, and 13 countries voting against it. Seven nations did not take part in the vote. The multiple page resolution unequivocally condemned the death penalty being imposed in a discriminatory or arbitrary manner. It particularly condemned the death penalty imposition for particular kinds of conduct like apostasy, consensual relations between couples of the same-sex, adultery, and blasphemy. Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the State Department, aware of the resultant uproar, explained why America voted against this resolution through a press briefing.

Nauert justified the US action by saying there were wider concerns about the approach of the resolution when it came to condemning the death penalty in a wide variety of circumstances. She reminded the assembled media the US undoubtedly condemns the death penalty application for conduct like apostasy, homosexuality, adultery, and blasphemy. She continued on to say that the US does not regard such conduct a criminal activity.

Protests against the US vote reached such a crescendo that Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to United Nations was compelled to respond. She tweeted that the US does not support death penalty simply for being gay. She said that the US has always fought for true justice for LGBT community. Haley also tweeted that the United States voted ‘no’ during Obama times as well. This is incorrect. Obama did not vote no, but rather abstained from the vote, which allowed the U.S. to keep the death penalty, but did not support this measure. Additionally, same-sex relations were not mentioned in previous resolutions.

The US stance was reevaluated and approved by some protestors. One of them was Jessica Stern, the OutRight Action International executive director. In an interview to a media house, Stern said that the United States has always opposed this kind of death penalty resolution as it makes the reference to a worldwide stop of the death penalty. The United States is the only Western Democratic nation to vote no on the resolution.

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