The United Nations voted this week to remove sexual orientation from a resolution calling on countries to protect the life of all people and to investigate extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions that are motivated by prejudice and discrimination.
This is a shameful day in United Nations history. It gives a de facto green light to the on-going murder of LGBT people by homophobic regimes, death squads and vigilantes. They will take comfort from the fact that the UN does not endorse the protection of LGBT people against hate-motivated murder.
The UN vote is in direct defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees equal treatment, non-discrimination and the right to life. What is the point of the UN if it refuses to uphold its own humanitarian values and declarations?
This vote is partly the result of a disturbing homophobic alliance between mostly African and Arab states, often inspired by religious fundamentalism. LGBT people in these countries frequently suffer severe persecution.
Many of the nations that voted for this amendment want to ensure that their anti-gay policies are not scrutinised or condemned by the UN. Even if they don't directly sanction the killing of LGBT people, they have lined up alongside nations that do.
South Africa and Cuba claim to support LGBT human rights, yet they voted to remove sexual orientation. They can no longer be considered gay-friendly states. Both countries have allied themselves with tyrannical, violent, homophobic regimes, like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Presidents Raul Castro and Jacob Zuma should hang their heads in shame. They've betrayed the liberation ideals that they profess to uphold.
This is a guest post by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Click here to find out more about his work.