The religious conservative Adhaalath Party has condemned the government for abstaining from a United Nations vote on a resolution against providing gay marital benefits to all UN employees.
The secretary general of the Adhaalath Party, which condemns homosexuality, told Vnews the abstention indicated that the Maldives did not oppose providing the marital benefits for gay couples.
In a tweet yesterday, Adhaalath said that it was “shameful” that the Maldives abstained from voting on the resolution, which was voted down last week.
Secretary general Iaadh Hameed added that the government’s foreign policy should be built upon Islamic principles and values, and that those policies should not encourage irreligious acts.
The vote on the resolution was held on March 24, after Russia challenged UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s decision to provide marital benefits to legally wed gay and lesbian couples similar to those provided to heterosexual couples.
However, the UN General Assembly rejected the resolution, with 80 countries voting against it, 43 countries voted in favour and 37 countries abstaining.
While China, Belarus and Muslim-majority Malaysia voted in favour of the resolution, Muslim-majority Indonesia also abstained.
Previously, the Maldives government had strongly criticised the European Union, saying that EU asked the Maldives to legalise same sex marriage and freedom of religion in exchange for extending duty-free status on Maldivian fish.
Economic development minister Mohamed Saeed claimed at the time that the EU declined to extend the duty exemption after Maldives refused the condition of “allowing homosexual relations and the opportunity for people to follow any religion they want”.
“The Maldives is an Islamic state and will remain so. We will uphold Islam. We will not compromise on anything that conflicts with Islam,” he said.