The United States has been criticized for voting against a U.N. resolution that sought to eliminate the death penalty for the LGBTQ community.
The United States was among 13 nations including Saudi Arabia and Iraq to vote down the resolution.
The resolution also condemned “the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations.” The UNHRC resolution was the first to specifically call out anti-LGBTQ repression.
Despite the U.S. vote against, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the historic resolution with a 27-13 margin.
The State Department later defended the move by wrongfully claiming the resolution called for a complete ban on the death penalty.
The move has sparked broad criticism from human rights advocates and members of the LGBTQ community.
"Ambassador Haley has failed the LGBTQ community by not standing up against the barbaric use of the death penalty to punish individuals in same-sex relationships," Ty Cobb, director of Human Rights Council Global, said in a statement.
"While the U.N. Human Rights Council took this crucially important step, the Trump/Pence administration failed to show leadership on the world stage by not championing this critical measure. This administration’s blatant disregard for human rights and LGBTQ lives around the world is beyond disgraceful."
LGBTQ organizations have also criticized the decision.
"This is a monumental moment where the international community has publicly highlighted that these horrific laws simply must end," Renato Sabbadini, executive director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA, said in a statement.
"It is unconscionable to think that there are hundreds of millions of people living in States where somebody may be executed simply because of whom they love," Sabbadini added.
Following last year’s mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Donald Trump promised to be an advocate for “the gays” not only in the United States but on the world stage as well, saying he would be a “friend” to the LGBTQ community He has also criticized longtime U.S. ally Saudi Arabia for its abuse of sexual minorities.
The United States has consistently failed to take action on resolutions on capital punishment.
As The Intercept points out: “presidents from both parties have long objected to U.N. resolutions critical of capital punishment."
In December 2016 — in the final weeks of Obama’s presidency — the U.S. voted against a resolution urging states not to execute minors, pregnant women, and the intellectually disabled.”