India vote at U.N. not anti-gay, explains government

26.03.15

(Gender-based discrimination)

It was a complex issue of whether nationals of a state governed by their laws or others’ decisions: MEA

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.

According to government officials, the reason for India’s vote was that the decision to extend the benefit was taken by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “of his own accord” and “without consultations with member States.”

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 UNGA vote on Tuesday.

Faced with criticism over India’s vote, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “It was a complex issue of whether nationals of a state governed by their laws or others’ decisions. That was the basis on which the decision was taken.”

Significantly, India had abstained from voting on a previous resolution against LGBT discrimination that was passed by the UNGA in September 2014. However, officials claimed that the current resolution was related to “sovereignty issues” over the U.N.’s administrative and financial functions.

“Do states have the right or does the U.N. Secretary-General have the prerogative to decide on such matters,” asked an official.
By Suhasini Haidar
Read the full article on the Hindu website