Over here in North America, we’re still fighting for equal rights. Marriage, partner benefits, etc., but over on the other side of the world, our queer brothers and sisters are fighting for their lives. Every two years the UN revisits a resolution condemning executions based on a list of criteria. In 2008 that resolution included sexual preference. You can thank the Moroccan and Malian governments for getting it removed from the 2010 version.
Morocco and Mali proposed the amendment to the resolution, and 77 other countries voted in favour against the 70 that opposed. Most North American and European countries that voted, voted against the amendment, while most of the for votes came from Middle Eastern and African countries. See the full list of how countries voted here. Thankfully both Canada and the U.S. voted against the amendment.
According to Reuters:
… this year, Morocco and Mali introduced an amendment on behalf of African and Islamic nations that called for deleting the words “sexual orientation” and replacing them with “discriminatory reasons on any basis.”
So what does this mean exactly? Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of IGLHRC says it better than I can:
“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development. It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.
What can you do? Well, I guess you could write your local government official, but I don’t think that will influence the attitudes of many foreign governments. I think one of the best way you can voice your disapproval is to not spend any of your tourism dollars in these countries, including China, Jamaica, and Cuba. No way I’m going to visit a country that thinks it’s OK to kill me based on who I want to love.