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SA abstention on UN LBGT resolution questioned

A law professor says SA may have chosen to abstain from voting to avoid upsetting homophobic countries.

Picture: Stock.XCHNG

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town law professor believes that South Africa may have chosen to abstain from voting in a United Nation's (UN) LBGT resolution to avoid upsetting homophobic countries.

The resolution to appoint an independent expert to monitor violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities was passed last week.

The resolution was put forward and supported by countries like Brazil, Angola, Cuba, Venezuela and Vietnam.

At least 18 countries voted against and 23 voted for the establishment of a LGBT rights watchdog.

Law professor and LGBT activist, Pierre de Vos, said that eight other countries chose to abstain, including South Africa.

"If they had voted for in favour of the resolution it would upset some countries who are very homophobic and don't mind if gays and lesbians are discriminated against or killed."

De Vos said he was shocked.

"It makes one feel like you're not valued and not valued like other people."

An official UN report stated that South Africa called the resolution "divisive" and an "arrogant approach".