Under criticism for voting against the U.N. Secretary-General’s decision to extend marriage benefits to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) couples or same-sex couples, India sought to explain that the vote was more about principle rather than its “anti-gay rights” content.
- India was among 43 countries, along with China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which voted for the Russian resolution to withdraw benefits to same-sex couples. The resolution was defeated by the UN General Assembly vote.
- India had abstained from voting on a previous resolution against LGBT discrimination that was passed by the UNGA in September 2014.
- The resolution at the UNGA was proposed by Russia, a country that decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 but enforced a ban on gay propaganda.
- India and Pakistan were the only two South Asian countries to vote for the Russian resolution.
- While Sri Lanka voted against the resolution, along with the U.S. in a bloc of 80 countries, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives abstained and Afghanistan did not vote.
- EU member states and the US lobbied hard against the resolution.
- India, explaining the move, said it was a “complex issue” concerning whether nationals of a state “were governed
by their laws or governed by the decision of others”.
- The UN now recognizes all same-sex couples married, regardless of their nationality.
Sources: The Hindu.