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JIC Post:By Ben TownleyGay.com UKA row has broken out at the United Nations, after the US sided with countries including Iran and Zimbabwe on a vote about gay inclusion.In a vote as to whether two groups should join the UN’s Economic and Social Council, the US joined Iran, Zimbabwe, China, Cameroon and Egypt in blocking the groups.The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and the Danish Association of Gays and Lesbians (Landsforeningen for Bosser og Lesbiske — LBL) applied to join the group, which is open to civic groups and allows more open debate on key issues affecting the social development of countries and human rights.Both side their arguments were vital to the debate of gay issues, since they would be able to represent a minority at the UN.Despite receiving some support initially, the vote blocked the groups joining.American gay rights groups have been quick to slam the decision."Apparently Iran, which President Bush has deemed part of the 'Axis of Evil,' is a suitable partner when it comes to discriminating against gay people," Matt Foreman, executive director of America’s National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said."It is an absolute outrage that the United States has chosen to align itself with tyrants — all in a sickening effort to smother the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world," he added.The groups are angry that the gay groups were blocked, but also that America should vote with countries known for their lack of human rights.Campaigners and governments across the globe have repeatedly slammed Zimbabwe and its president Robert Mugabe for his ‘tyrannical’ control of the country, as well as its stance on lesbian and gay people.Additionally, Egypt has been at the centre of international condemnation after a spate of stings that focussed on entrapping and arresting gay men.In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death. Last year, two teenage boys were hanged publicly after they were accused of having sex with each other, sparking protests across the globe.The countries that voted to dismiss the gay application were Cameroon, China, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, United States of America and Zimbabwe, according to ILGA.Those who backed the application were Chile, France, Germany, Peru and Romania.Gay groups stateside are now questioning why America sided with the anti-gay groups."It is repugnant that the self-proclaimed 'leader of the free world' will align itself with bigots and tyrants at the drop of a hat to advance the right wing's virulently anti-gay agenda," Foreman said.
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