LGBT+ Death Penalty

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All is not fair in love and war

Samantha Mayer, North Staff Writer

Over the past few weeks the United States has faced trials and tribulations without measure.

On Oct. 3, 2017, in a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland the United Nations Human Rights Council questioned the use of the death penalty in a way that is unfairly applied to women, people with disabilities, race and people of different sexual-orientation.

The resolution to condemn the death penalty used in such manners was passed with 27 in favor, 13 against, and seven abstentions. Reports had been almost exclusively focused on the first death penalty resolution to pass while involving LGBT+ relationships, which groups such as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association have acclaimed as “historic.”

The U.S, however, was one of the 13 opposing votes alongside Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Although the UN Human Rights Council does not outrightly outlaw the use of the death penalty, the Trump Administration’s decision to veto the resolution sent human rights groups and their supporters into an uproar.

The opposition to the resolution caused backlash beyond compare. However, a reason for this could be that the US vote was driven by fear of undermining the death penalty itself. It is something the US claims to be against, yet still exists in modern society.

The Trump Administration, via State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert explained why the U.S voted against the resolution

“We voted against that resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution’s approach in condemning the death penalty in all circumstances,” Nauert said. “The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery and apostasy. We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization.”

Ambassador Nikki Haley made an announcement to clarify and justify the decision and tweeted,

“There was NO vote by USUN that supported the death penalty for gay people. We have always fought for justice for the LGBT community,” Haley said.

The real question goes beyond all of this squabble, it is about the death penalty itself. Should it or should it not be legal? The subject of global debate and turmoil, the death penalty used to in such a manner to strike down those for who they are or who they love reignites the fear that has been slowly losing its grip on the LGBT+ population.

From the beginning with the Stonewall Riots of 1969 onward, the fight for LGBT+ rights has gained more awareness in the 20th century. Like the modern Japanese youth having to live through another age of missile sirens, future generations of LGBT+ youth could go through the sufferings of the past if the world does not change.

 

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