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UN passes resolution condemning executions based on LGBT status

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) [official website] on Tuesday passed a resolution [text, PDF; press release] condmening extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions on the basis of "gender identity" for the first time. In a vote of 108 to 1, the UNGA amended the resolution to include language urging states around the world "to investigate...all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation or gender identity." The UNGA's approval of the amendment effectively overturned a 2010 resolution [press release] that removed references to protection from extrajudicial execution on the basis of "sexual orientation." Rights groups from around the world have praised the UNGA's decision to support protections from discriminatory execution based on LGBT status. Amnesty International's [advocacy website] UN representative, Jose Luis Diaz said Wednesday: "The [UNGA] sent a strong message, reaffirming everyone must be protected from extrajudicial killings." Changes in the resolution were originally introduced by Sweden and co-sponsored by 34 states from around the world.

Sexual orientation and LGBT rights continue to be a contentious issue in societies worldwide. In July UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised [JURIST report] human rights activists for their work to protect LGBT rights while calling for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and stressing that violence and discrimination against the LGBT community is a human rights violation. In June Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] the Bulgarian Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva to denounce calls to violence by anti-gay groups in anticipation of a LGBT pride parade in Sofia, Bulgaria. During the same month, Ugandan Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo said [JURIST report] that the government was not discriminating based on sexual orientation. The statement came days after the government had announced [JURIST report] that it would ban at least 38 non-governmental organizations that are accused of recruiting children to homosexuality.

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