Indian Govt Faces Flak for Abstaining From the LGBT Vote at the UN

Dodging the question, Vikas Swarup said that the issue of LGBT rights was still under consideration in the SC.

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The LGBT community reacted strongly to India’s abstention from today’s vote on the issue. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint)</b>

The United Nation’s top human rights body has decided to appoint an expert to monitor violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Interestingly, India abstained from the vote to appoint the expert, along with 5 other countries in an exercise called by the Human Rights Council.

Members from the LGBT community have been  unimpressed by the government’s stand. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/OnAirWithRick">‏@OnAirWithRick</a>)
Members from the LGBT community have been unimpressed by the government’s stand. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/‏@OnAirWithRick)

India Abstains, Faces Flak

Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, dodged the question about the government’s decision to abstain from the vote and said instead that the issue of LGBT rights in India is a matter being considered by the Supreme Court. The apex is yet to pronounce a verdict on the issue.

Members from the LGBT community seemed unimpressed by the clarification, and expressed their disappointment over the government’s move, demanding the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and speak about the issue.

Transgender activist Akkai Padmashali said it reflected ‘intolerance’ on the government’s part.

Human rights activist Anjali Gopalan revealed that it was unfortunate that India abstained from the vote, adding that it revealed the mindset of those in power.

Chairman of Mumbai-based Humsafar Trust Ashok Row Kavi also spoke on the issue. 

I condemn the decision to abstain as it shows that India is against universal human rights. We have signed the human rights charter but we have gone against it by abstaining

Training its guns on the NDA government, the Rashtriya Janata Dal said that India’s move to abstain would send a negative message to the world on this issue.

This is very unfortunate and saddening. We have accomplished so much in the area of LGBT rights and there is also a consensus on it. By abstaining we are sending across a very negative message on a progressive issue. There is no way you can remain indifferent towards these issues. 
Manoj Jha, RJD Spokesperson, to ANI  

(With ANI, PTI and IANS inputs.)

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