Peter Tatchell

A leading British LGBT activist has slammed South Africa for agreeing to remove LGBT protection from a United Nations resolution on illegal executions.

“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,” said Peter Tatchell in a statement.

“They will take comfort from the fact that the UN does not endorse the protection of LGBT people against hate-motivated murder,” he added.

On Tuesday, South Africa joined other, mostly African and Middle East, nations in voting to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution protecting people from extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in the UN General Assembly.

“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,” said Tatchell.

He particularly criticised South Africa and Cuba for supporting the move.

“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,” said Tatchell.

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