Fake News About the U.N. ‘Gay Death Penalty’ Vote

This is mendacious in the extreme, and pure partisan hackery:

Here’s why:

11 Comments for “Fake News About the U.N. ‘Gay Death Penalty’ Vote”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Sigh.

    When it comes to laws, resolutions and other documents with legal implications, it is almost always a good idea to actually read the document and ground comments/arguments about the document in the actual text of the document.

    With that in mind, I would ask all to read the operative language of the UN document in question before jumping onto one bandwagon or another:

    Acknowledging the interest in studying the question of the death penalty, as well as in holding local, national, regional and international debates related thereto,

    1. Urges all States to protect the rights of persons facing the death penalty and other affected persons by complying with their international obligations, including the rights to equality and non-discrimination;

    2. Calls upon States that have not yet acceded to or ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty to consider doing so;

    3. Calls upon States that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not applied on the basis of discriminatory laws or as a result of discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law;

    4. Calls upon States to ensure that all accused persons, in particular poor and economically vulnerable persons, can exercise their rights related to equal access to justice, to ensure adequate, qualified and effective legal representation at every stage of civil and criminal proceedings in capital punishment cases through effective legal aid, and to ensure that those facing the death penalty can exercise their right to seek pardon or commutation of their death sentence;

    5. Urges States that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that the death penalty is not applied against persons with mental or intellectual disabilities and persons below 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, as well as pregnant women;

    6. Also urges States that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not imposed as a sanction for specific forms of conduct such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations;

    7. Calls upon States to comply with their obligations under article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and to inform foreign nationals of their right to contact the relevant consular post;

    8. Also calls upon States to undertake further studies to identify the underlying factors that contribute to the substantial racial and ethnic bias in the application of the death penalty, where they exist, with a view to developing effective strategies aimed at eliminating such discriminatory practices;

    9. Calls upon States that have not yet abolished the death penalty to make available relevant information, disaggregated by gender, age, nationality and other applicable criteria, with regard to their use of the death penalty, inter alia, the charges, number of persons sentenced to death, the number of persons on death row, the number of executions carried out and the number of death sentences reversed, commuted on appeal or in which amnesty or pardon has been granted, as well as information on any scheduled execution, which can contribute to possible informed and transparent national and international debates, including on the obligations of States with regard to the use of the death penalty;

    10. Requests the Secretary-General to dedicate the 2019 supplement to his quinquennial report on capital punishment to the consequences arising at various stages of the imposition and application of the death penalty on the enjoyment of the human rights of persons facing the death penalty and other affected persons, paying specific attention to the impact of the resumption of the use of the death penalty on human rights, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its forty-second session;

    11. Decides that the upcoming biennial high-level panel discussion to be held at the fortieth session of the Human Rights Council will address the human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the rights to non-discrimination and equality;

    12. Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize the high-level panel discussion and to liaise with States, relevant United Nations bodies, agencies, treaty bodies, special procedures and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as with parliamentarians, civil society, including non-governmental organizations, and national human rights institutions with a view to ensuring their participation in the panel discussion;

    13. Also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a summary report on the panel discussion and to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its forty-second session;

    14. Decides to continue its consideration of this issue in accordance with its programme of work.

    The actual resolution in question was a broad-based one voicing opposition to the death penalty: “Another provision calls on countries to ratify a treaty agreeing to abolish the death penalty altogether.

    Olson would have benefited from reading the text of the document before mindlessly repeating the Trump administration’s “abolish the death penalty altogether” meme.

    The meme is not supported by the text.

    The closest the text comes to “calling on countries to ratify a treaty agreeing to abolish the death penalty altogether” is Section 2, which reads:

    2. Calls upon States that have not yet acceded to or ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty to consider doing so;

    The other sections of the text call for nations to comply with human rights obligations to abolish discriminatory application of the death penalty in a variety of ways, and calls upon nations that have not abolished the death penalty to ensure that the death penalty is applied in accordance with international standards relating to human rights.

    So in my opinion, Olson’s comment just doesn’t wash, given the operative language. But don’t take my word for it. Do what Olson didn’t and read the full text before commenting.

    Because the policy of the U.S. is to oppose UN resolutions that are at odds with domestic US law, U.S. governments — the Obama administration included — have never supported the series of UN resolutions promoting death penalty abolition, of which this is the latest.

    That’s true, if deceptive. As far as I know, the US did not vote against earlier, similar resolutions, but abstained. There’s a difference, and that’s part of what is both fueling and clouding the discussion, simplistic to the point of moronic on both sides.

    Do you oppose the death penalty in general, and wish the U.S. would abolish it? Fine. You may be right. But please don’t misrepresent the U.S. diplomatic position.

    Olson should have followed his own advice. Here’s some more advice for him: If you are going to accuse others of running amok, don’t do so by running amok yourself.

    Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    Olson would have benefited from reading the text of the document before mindlessly repeating the Trump administration’s “abolish the death penalty altogether” meme.

    The meme is not supported by the text.

    I think it’s a closer call than that.

    That being said, my position on this matter when I first heard about it was that it is reasonable for the United States to vote to reject any resolution, LGBT-related or not, that amounts to a statement that the death penalty is a violation of international law, or amounts to something that could be a slippery slope thereof. Not an easy conclusion to come to, but that is why the US proposed an amendment or two, isn’t it?

    That it seems we have the opposite, a death penalty-related resolution that states that discriminating against gays is a violation of international law, makes this a no-brainer.

    Reply
  3. posted by db on

    so…the partisan hackjob comes from the Trump & Inc….

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Naw, just the usual dissembling we’ve come to expect from CATOpublicans.

      Reply
  4. posted by JohnInCA on

    In other news, Alabama Republicans just gave the Republican party nomination for Alabama senator to Roy Moore, who has also refused to condemn the death penalty for gays.

    In other news, Trump’s choice for “Religious Freedom” ambassador, Sam Brownback, has refused to condemn the death penalty for gays.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Ah, yes.

      Little by slowly, the Trump administration chips away at federal regulations requiring equal treatment of same-sex married couples:

      5. CMS withdrew a proposal that would have revised the conditions for participation for certain providers, conditions for coverage for certain suppliers and requirements for long-term care facilities. Specifically, the proposed rule published in December 2014 would have revised certain definitions and patient’s rights provisions to ensure same-sex spouses are recognized and afforded equal rights in certain healthcare facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds.

      A CMS spokesman argued that the regulation was no longer needed post-Obergefell:

      But the agency was quick to point out the decision relates to how the rule became moot in 2015, not because it is cutting back on protections for LGBT individuals. A CMS spokesperson told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News the agency is pulling the rule because the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges required all states to license and recognize same-sex marriage.

      That conclusion might be premature. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that Obergefell does not require that same-sex married couples be afforded equal benefits, rights and privileges as straight married couples, and we won’t know how that will turn out until SCOTUS hears and decides the Texas case.

      Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      In other news, Alabama Republicans just gave the Republican party nomination for Alabama senator to Roy Moore, who has also refused to condemn the death penalty for gays.

      In other news, Trump’s choice for “Religious Freedom” ambassador, Sam Brownback, has refused to condemn the death penalty for gays.

      You make this too easy.

      If I were Donald Trump, not only would I refuse to condemn the death penalty for gays, I’d fire the Angel of Death, bring Omar Mateen, the perpetrator of the Orlando nightclub shooting, back from the dead, and throw him in the electric chair myself.

      Reply
  5. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Well, here we go. That drip-drip-drip sound you hear is the Trump administration’s continuing agenda for eroding equal treatment under the law for gays and lesbian. Tony Perkins is thrilled.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      And when I said Tony is thrilled, I mean thrilled:

      Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ), issued guidance directing federal agencies to respect religious freedom.

      As you may remember, President Trump issued an executive order on May 4 making clear that the administration will pursue policies that “protect and vigorously promote religious liberty ” and thus directing the DOJ to issue guidelines ensuring religious liberty is protected.

      Today that guidance was issued and another step was taken toward undoing the anti-faith policies of the Obama administration.

      President Trump and now the Department of Justice are placing federal government agencies on notice: you will not only respect the freedom of every American to believe, but the free exercise of religion.

      Today, Family Research Council is launching a hotline for federal employees, contractors and citizens who believe that they have suffered discrimination in the workplace based on their religious beliefs or practices. The ‘Free to Believe’ hotline will help ensure that no one will have to choose between their livelihood and their faith.

      Please join me in signing our thank you petition to President Trump and the Attorney General expressing appreciation for their efforts to end government discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs or practices.

      Reply
  6. posted by Doug on

    Hey Stephen, could you tell me one more time how great Trump is going to be for LGBT rights?

    Reply

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