United Nations member states on Tuesday restored a reference to sexual orientation in a resolution opposing the murders of minorities.
The language had been removed from the resolution last month at the urging of some African and Arab nations, sparking outrage among human rights advocates all too aware of the vast number of unjustified killings of LGBT people around the globe. Human rights organizations lobbied countries who had previously abstained from voting on the resolution to support the restored language, highlighting the need for gay people to be protected from extrudicual and other gratuitous slayings.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice sponsored the measure to reinstate the sexual orientation reference, which was backed by Belgium, Finland and other Western nations.
A coalition of African countries, on the other hand, said it was “greatly alarmed” that the restored language would “create new rights, new standards, or new groups,” according to the Associated Press.
The assembly on Tuesday voted 93 in favor of the United States’ proposal to restore the sexual orientation language, with 55 countries opposed and 27 abstaining. The assembly then adopted the resolution with 122 in favor and 0 votes opposed, with 59 abstentions.
President Obama said the vote “marks an important moment in the struggle for civil and human rights,” while Secretay of State Hillary Clinton stated, “No one should be killed for who they are.”