The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) has strongly condemned the recent vote by member states of the the United Nations to remove sexual orientation from a resolution calling on countries to protect the life of all people and to investigate extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions that are motivated by prejudice and discrimination.
A wide range of other human rights organisations is condemning the failure of governments to publicly oppose the mistreatment of LGBT people.
The resolution urges states to protect the right to life of all people, and includes a call for states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past ten years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in this list of discriminatory grounds.
But many member states refuse to recognise sexual orientation as being a reason for protection and have thus voted for it to be removed from the UN resolution.
the Rev Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of LGCM, declared: "The reference to sexual orientation was part of a list which highlights many of the groups that are targeted by killings - including those belonging to national or ethnic groups, human rights defenders and street children and members of indigenous communities.
"Until now it has been accepted that the mention of sexual orientation is required to draw attention to the fact that this is often the specific reason why individuals are killed.
"The removal of this reference sends a message that people do not merit protection based upon their sexual orientation and will further fuel homophobic hatred and violence.
"As both an LGBT campaigning organisation and a Christian one we strongly condemn this institutional homophobia and acknowledge with sadness that very often it has its roots in Christian belief. We are reminded that the fight for equality and freedom is far from over. We shall continue to stand with others in this essential work," said Ms Ferguson.