India abstains on vote for LGBT rights at UN

Background: LGBT rights, Section 377 of the IPC, UNHRC.

  • The Ministry of External Affairs said that India avoided taking a position on the need to end discrimination based on sexual orientation at the UNHRC, as the Supreme Court is yet to pronounce on the issue of rights of LGBT persons.
  • The MEA’s clarification came a day after India abstained from a voting at the UNHRC on a resolution to set up the office of Independent Expert to end discrimination against LGBT persons.
  • The move to create this special office in support for the LGBT community follows the June 12 mass killing at an Orlando night club in Florida.
  • The UNHRC resolution (which was backed by the Latin American nations) was opposed by Russia and the Islamic countries; India, Philippines and South Africa abstained.
  • The debate around the resolution brought out sharp differences among members of the Human Rights Council as several countries cited cultural traditions against supporting the move.

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