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US ‘disappointed’ in India for voting against gay rights at UN

US ‘disappointed’ in India for voting against gay rights at UN

The US ambassador to India has expressed disappointment in the south Asian country for voting against LGBTI rights at the UN.

Richard Verma made the comment last week in New Delhi.

‘We were disappointed… by India’s support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships,’ he said.

‘We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world.’

India was among the 43 countries, including China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, that voted in favor of a Russian resolution to deny partner benefits to gay UN staff.

However, 80 nations voted down the proposal.

India said it vote was based not on LGBTI rights but ‘sovereignty issues’ as the decision to extend the benefit was taken by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ‘of his own accord… without consultations with member States.’

Faced with criticism over the vote, Ministry of External Affairs 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.’