Trump’s America Votes Against Condemning Death Penalty for Gays

America under Trump distinguished itself again late last week at the United Nations by opposing a simple resolution condemning an archaic Old Testament edict calling for the death penalty for committing a “capital crime” the Christian god says is “detestable.” It is no coincidence that under an extremist evangelical administration, the Trump ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, toed the evangelical line and voted with other religious regimes opposing a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning the death penalty for homosexuality. It is important to note that Trump just endorsed evangelical malcontent Roy Moore of Alabama who has intimated often that according to his religious belief, homosexuality should be criminalized – gays have to be punished because “it’s in the bible.”

America was one of 13 nations in the minority voting against the United Nations resolution that condemned the practice of killing human beings because they love someone of the same gender. The so-called “land of the free” joined extremist religious nations such as Iraq, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to vote against the U.N. resolution condemning the execution of human beings for whom they love.

It is noteworthy that the U.N. resolution  stops far short of actually calling for an end to the death penalty because that is a bridge too far. The resolution simply condemns its use “in a discriminatory fashion;” such as singling out members of the LGBTQ community and executing them for not adhering to archaic religious rules.

As noted by the “International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association” (ILGA), besides targeting gays for death, the U.N. was condemning the death penalty to punish adultery because it is regularly and disproportionately imposed on women. America voted against condemning executing people for adultery, blasphemy, apostasy and homosexuality; all designated as sins against the god of the bible and embraced with religious fervor by extremist theocratic nations.

The ILGA’s executive director, Renato Sabbadini, remarked in a statement just how atrocious some countries’ laws against being gay are. Mr. Sabbadini said:

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.”

A spokeswoman for the Trump State Department, Heather Nauert, attempted to assuage the shock and outrage the vote engendered and gave a bizarre explanation for why Trump directed his U.N. Ambassador to vote with theocratic nations stuck in the Bronze Age. Besides opposing any criticism for the death penalty, Ms. Nauert said:

The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery, and apostasy. We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization. Okay? I hope that’s clear.”

That remark is not clear, it is a giant pile of bovine excrement and stunning the State Department would dare issue such a remark.  If the United States “unequivocally condemns” killing people for that conduct; why did Haley vote against “unequivocally condemning” killing people for that conduct? And the “official” Trump State Department claim that they were opposing “condemning the death penalty in all circumstances” is just more bullshit after being railed on by civilized human beings.

The director of the Human Rights Campaign Global, Ty Cobb, issued a “scathing statementsaying:

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. While the U.N. Human Rights Council took this crucially important step, the [extremist evangelical] 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.”

What was beyond disgraceful was Nikki Haley following her boss’ lead and lying in defending the vote, but only after harsh criticism. She even used Trump’s media outlet, “Twitter,” to claim the Trump administration “have always fought for justice for the LGBT community.”

Not content to lie just once, Haley also lied in saying that:

The vote that took place in Geneva is the same US vote that took place under the Obama admin. It was not a vote against LGBT.”

More bullshit and two more easily debunked dirty lies. First, during the Obama Administration the United States “abstained” from voting on a similar resolution because America as an institution just enjoys killing people. And second, there was no reference to gays in previous resolution; the “LGBT language was newly-added this year.

Haley was also lying when she said the Trump administration has “always fought for justice for the LGBTQ community” and she knows she was lying. Trump has rolled back protections for LGBTQ people quietly and in the case of transgenders, it has been very public. In fact, the Trump administration has already won the distinction as being the most “anti-LGBTQ administration” in modern history. When the Trump administration did have an opportunity to demonstrate fighting for justice for gays on the world stage, especially to condemn the practice of applying the archaic Old Testament death penalty, they said no.

Although the “no” vote rankled no small number of Americans, it likely thrilled Trump’s supporters in the extremist evangelical sector. There are still five states in America that carry anti-blasphemy laws on the books, and plenty of extremist evangelicals would be thrilled to see the death penalty imposed for being gay; Trump just endorsed one of those extremist evangelicals to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

When given an opportunity to join 27 civilized nations in condemning application of Old Testament punishment for being gay, apostasy, blasphemy and adultery, Trump’s America “officially” said no; we won’t condemn it. Lying after the fact that Trump’s America condemns killing people who fail to conform to archaic bible edicts doesn’t change the fact that “officially” America does not condemn killing people for being gay. That official stance portends bad things for all Americans who think they are not living in an aspiring radical evangelical theocracy.

Image: Patheos

Trump Ambassador Warns U.N.To Stop Condemning Israeli Human Rights Abuses

Anyone who has been paying attention over the past year-and-a-half understands that the current administration is both no friend of international organizations and cooperation, or human rights. Still, it was a stunning revelation to learn that the Trump administration’s chief diplomat to the United Nations issued a not-so-veiled threat to extract its support and withdraw from the world organization’s Human Rights Council (H.R.C.) unless it meets Trump’s demands.

The big deal now is that with a Netanyahu-friendly imbecile in the White House, the official White House position is that America is damn sick and tired of the Human Rights Council condemning Israel for its never-ending human rights violations against the Palestinian people. It is also highly likely that the Trump administration is making a provocative threat against the H.R.C. because the Obama Administration refused to support Israel’s continued land seizure and encroachment into Palestine just six months ago.

Most people know that a U.N. Human Rights, or a Security Council, condemnation doesn’t carry any punitive consequences; if it did there would be a lot less human rights abuses. However, it does alert the offending nation that the world condemns a country that abuses human rights, usually of its own citizens.

However, in Israel’s case every criticism from the Human rights watchdog has concerned Israel’s abuse of the Palestinian people. The last U.N. condemnation was no different except that America abstained from protecting Israel’s encroachment into Palestine and did nothing to stop the Council from officially condemning the Jewish State. It was the first time in history that America did not condone Israel’s aggression by blocking the Security Council’s statement that Israel’s aggression into Palestine is illegal. Still, illegal or not, nothing came from the condemnation but it was enough irritation that the Trump White House is issuing yet another threat to exit an important world organization if it fails to meet Trump’s demands.

The news of the warning came in the form of an opinion piece in the Washington Post by U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. The United States, under the Trump administration, warned that if the U.N. H.R.C. does not cease its “anti-Israel bias,” America will withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Ms. Haley will push for Trump-demanded reforms that include condemning nations that Trump decides are “bad actors” and removal of any criticism of Israel for its actions against Palestinians. Haley said Trump will decide whether to withdraw from the H.R.C after its three-week session in Geneva ends at the end of this month.

The crux of Haley’s piece is that it just isn’t fair to call out Israel’s human rights violations when there are two or three countries on the Council that are guilty of human rights violations. It is noteworthy that on several occasions the H.R.C. has condemned the United States for abusing its own citizens’ basic human rights due to Republican legislation; the last condemnation in March was over several Republican state legislatures attempting to criminalize peaceful protests. It is not beyond the realm of believability to think Trump wants out of the H.R.C. due to criticism of his policy that peaceful protests against his regime are criminal acts.

Haley complained that there wasn’t enough criticism of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba, and that there is far too much focus by the entire organization’s members on the way Israel abuses the Palestinians. Her solution is for the H.R.C. to implement the “reforms” demanded by the Trump administration forthwith or America will decide to withdraw from the Human Rights Council. Maybe Haley is unaware of how often the H.R.C. has condemned America’s human rights violations while it is a member in good standing on the Council, because she complained that:

The presence of multiple human rights-violating countries on the Human Rights Council has damaged both the reputation of the council and the cause of human rights. When the world’s preeminent human rights body is turned into a haven for dictators, the idea of international cooperation in support of human dignity is discredited.”

If, as Haley demands, countries with “multiple human rights violations” damage the Council’s reputation and warrant being kicked out of the Council according to Trump’s demands, America will not have to “withdraw;” it will be evicted according to the Trump’s contention that no human rights violators be allowed to remain on the Council. And, it is noteworthy that according to Trump’s standards, Israel has every right to abuse Palestinians because they are Muslims and he is Netanyahu’s friend; a friendship founded on mutual adoration for bullies.

There is a reason, and a damned good one, the H.R.C. condemns Israel’s abuse of the Palestinian people; they have put the Palestinians on a fenced-in reservation with no hope of ever getting out. And, Israel is systematically taking Palestinian land not unlike Russia’s annexation of Crimea; an act Haley complained didn’t get a harsh enough H.R.C. condemnation.

Haley ended her mini-screed, and warning, with another veiled threat that the organization cannot exist unless it adopts the Trump administration’s reforms. She said,

“I believe the vision of the Human Rights Council is still achievable, but not without change. It is the responsibility of the United Nations to reclaim this vision and to restore the legitimacy of universal human rights.”  (author bold)

What Haley didn’t write, but clearly implied in her rant, was that the H.R.C. can only achieve its vision if it stops criticizing Israel’s human rights violations, and only if America is the only the only human rights violator allowed to stay on the Council. It is unclear how much of Haley’s warning was her idea, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it came straight from the Trump.