State Department defends vote against UN resolution condemning death penalty for homosexuality https://t.co/bJ8IhhDBNg
— 🗽Jeffrey Levin 🗽 (@jilevin) October 4, 2017
The U.S. State Department responded Tuesday to questions as to why it opposed a United Nations resolution that condemns the discriminatory use of the death penalty, such as in cases of adultery and same-sex relations. Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the U.S. had “broader concerns” about the resolutions language regarding the death penalty. “As our representative to the Human Rights Council said last Friday, the United States is disappointed to have voted against that resolution,” Hauert said at a press briefing Tuesday. “We voted against that resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution’s approach in condemning the death penalty in all circumstances, and it called for the abolition of the death penalty altogether. We had hoped for a balanced and inclusive resolution that would better reflect the positions of states that continue to apply the death penalty lawfully as the United States does.”
Any politician or political animal fortunate enough to be able to work at the highest levels of government understands the importance of optics. It’s not always WHAT you do; the salient point is how what you do is perceived. For an administration predicated on bigotry, the appearance of endorsing the application of the death penalty for homosexuality makes for some damned poor optics.
The Republican primary campaign was a race to the bottom when it came to appealing to haters and homophobes. Events since Inauguration Day have done little to dispell that perception, and Ambassador Nikki Haley’s vote against condemning the discriminatory use of the death penalty is understandably a cause for concern. A President who the day after Election Day promised to be “a President for ALL Americans” has repeatedly demonstrated that “ALL” doesn’t mean what you might think. In this context, “ALL” is code for “ALL White Conservative Christian heterosexuals.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 3, 2017
A State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, attempted to convey that Ambassador Haley’s vote was simply a rejection of what the U.S. government felt to be an overly broad resolution. As much as Nauert attempted to spin the unfortunate nature of the American vote against the resolution, there’s clearly a disconnect between reality and perception.
Most Republican Presidential candidates embraced far-Right and virulently anti-gay Evangelical Christians. Some of those compassion-deprived “Christians” strongly supported Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, which would have criminalized homosexuality. Penalties upon conviction would have been up to and including the death penalty. Yes, there was a reason it was called the “Kill the Gays” bill. That so many American Evangelicals were so eager to support the bill isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Christianity.
If the U.S. government has significant problems with the resolution, Americans diplomats should have the skills necessary to negotiate something more agreeable…if they were so inclined. The problem is that this government isn’t inclined, and the optics of the vote make it quite clear they have no real problem with executing homosexuals.
Is the U.S. government led by a man committed to being “a President for ALL Americans?” Or could it be possible he sees no contradictions with the vote against the resolution…because he doesn’t view homosexuals as people?
Yes, optics are important…not that this administration seems to grasp that reality.
Nice work, America.