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UN To Appoint LGBT Observer Despite Opposition By Russia, Muslim Countries

The UN Human Rights Council has agreed to appoint an observer to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people despite opposition by China, Russia, and several Muslim countries.

The United States and major European countries backed the resolution on June 30, which was passed following the June 12 attack at a gay night club in Florida that killed 49 people.

China, Russia and a number of African and Muslim countries rejected it.

Saudi Arabian Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad said that the decision would "be used as an instrument to intervene in the business of the sovereign states that are trying to protect their cultural specificities."

Saudi Arabia would not cooperate with the UN observer, he said.

British Ambassador Julian Braithwaite said that opposition to the council's resolution signaled opposition to fighting violence against sexual minorities.

"How is that acceptable?" he asked.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa