Persecutors and persecuted

The U.S. should lead where the U.N. has failed in protecting gay rights.

Daily Editorial Board

The U.N. recently amended its resolution condemning extrajudicial executions of minority populations. But led by mostly African and Arabic countries, members voted 79-70 to remove the reference in the resolution protecting gays and lesbians. Most of the countries that voted for this change consider homosexuality a crime; in several it is punishable by death.

This is a huge backward step for the protection of gays around the world. Homosexuals are a minority group specifically singled out by law and culture in countries the world over. Removing this recognition from the U.N. resolution ignores the particular persecutions homosexuals face worldwide. No one should find it tolerable that the U.N. cannot protect gays against arbitrary execution.

Accordingly, the motion should be a wake-up call to those in the U.S. who still find excuses to deny gays their full rights. While the U.S. voted to keep the protection for gays in the resolution, its own homosexual Americans are still treated as second-class citizens by law and culture.

America should be a human rights leader âÄî an example to the rest of the world of freedom and fairness. When it systematically discriminates against a minority group, it sends a message to the world that this type of discrimination is acceptable. We should demonstrate to gays and persecutors alike that everyone deserves freedom from persecution.