General Assembly would ever be in favour of extra-judicial executions? State representatives, perhaps soldiers or police, kill someone without a trial, without an excuse such as self-defence. Even if you are in favour of the death penalty, you are in favour of establishing the facts first? Yet with a resolution in the UN General Assembly condemning extra-judicial executions, Iran voted against, and 65 nations abstained.

The resolution is brought forward by Sweden every two years. It has six pages in its English text, but the sexual orientation and gender identity bit is in paragraph 6(b) on page 3. The General Assembly urges all states…to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including those targeted at specific groups of persons, such as racially motivated violence leading to the death of the victim, killings of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities or because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

At the vote in 2010, “sexual orientation” was removed from the draft resolution, and in 2012, “gender identity” was added for the first time.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation sought to amend by deleting “sexual orientation or gender identity” and replace it with “or any other reason”, but that was defeated. Arguably, the amendment was unobjectionable: gay people are included, whether we are named or not. However, the Government of Japan stated, We cannot tolerate any killings of persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our delegation voted against the proposed amendment to this paragraph because we think it is meaningful to mention such killings from the perspective of protecting the rights of LGBT people.

I am glad to be included. As I understand it, those regimes which use death squads keep quiet about it. No dictator proudly boasts of the increasing activity of his death squads.

So the resolution is in code. It says that gay people matter, and those who supported the amendment did not want that stated. They refuse to object to our murder, because they desire our arrest and punishment.

And- the Episcopal Church of the USA has established a liturgy for the blessing of same sex relationships. Not every diocese will offer it, and some require the decision of the Bishop before it is granted, but I thank God for it. I mention it here just because the resolution has a similar legalistic structure, Whereases and all; and because I want to delight all who would be delighted by the news, and distress all who would be distressed.

Thanks to DC of Purple Gloves.

6 thoughts on “General Assembly

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