Skip to comments.UN 'Sexual Orientation' Bid in Trouble After Sponsor Bails Out
Posted on 03/30/2004 7:44:14 AM PST by presidio9
Proponents of an attempt to include "sexual orientation" as a U.N.-protected human right have blamed an "unholy axis" of the Vatican and Muslims for jeopardizing the bid at the annual session of the U.N. human rights agency.
Homosexual activists are looking for a new champion after Brazil, which had sponsored the resolution, announced Monday that it was dropping it, for lack of sufficient international support.
Brazil said it feared a repetition of last year, when the measure ran into strong opposition from Islamic countries at the 2003 U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) session in Geneva.
A vote on the measure, which was supported by Canada and most European Union member states, was subsequently postponed until this year's meeting of the 53-nation body, now underway in the Swiss city.
"Since November last year, we have been consulting with delegations of several countries on the text," Brazil's U.N. mission in Geneva said in a statement. "We have not yet been able, however, to arrive at a necessary consensus."
Supporters argue that a resolution is needed to prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, pointing to some societies where sodomy is a criminal offense.
Muslim nations opposed the proposal on the grounds they have religious objections to homosexuality, while some Christian campaigners warned that the measure would deny religious faiths the freedom to criticize the homosexual lifestyle.
They argued that it would also bolster arguments for same-sex "marriage" and trample on parents' rights when it came to teaching their children about sexuality.
One website campaigning against the resolution said that many U.N. member states may not fully understand its implications.
"As 'sexual orientation' was not defined in the resolution, and United Nations documents do not currently limit sexual 'rights' by age, gender or marriage, it would be difficult to restrict such a so-called 'right' to homosexuals and lesbians," it said.
"Pedophiles could actually claim a 'sexual orientation' toward children or adolescents, at least toward those who have reached the age of consent, which is as young as 12 in some nations."
Catholic campaigners pointed out that the church's catechism - which says homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to the natural law" - would find itself in conflict with the U.N. stance.
The Vatican was credited with hard lobbying, especially in Latin America, while opposition in the Muslim world was spearheaded by Pakistan, Egypt and Malaysia, which currently chairs the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Malaysia's government last month called on the U.N. not to deprive Islamic and other nations of their basic laws and rights.
Rais Yatim, a minister in the office of the prime minister, said the U.N. resolution, if approved, could be seen to constitute interference in countries' sovereign affairs.
"There are countries, including Malaysia, that do not recognize sexual relations between males and such a law is sovereign and basic to us," Rais said.
Muslim countries urged that the term "sexual orientation" be dropped, with the resolution rather reaffirming human rights "for all." Some also wanted the inclusion of a clause stressing the importance of the family.
A British member of the European Parliament issued a statement in Geneva accusing Islamic countries and the Vatican of entering an "unholy axis" to undermine support for the resolution.
Michael Cashman, a homosexual activist who represents the Labor Party in the European Parliament, said the Vatican and OIC had engaged in "aggressive lobbying" to defeat the bid.
"It's depressing when religions can succeed in denying ordinary men and women their universal human rights," he said, adding that the Vatican and OIC should "hang their heads in shame for having reduced their beliefs to the gutter of bigotry and discrimination."
Meanwhile, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said in a statement that it and its global allies "are rallying to ask other supporters of the resolution to step forward as prime sponsors" in the absence of Brazil.
Executive director Paula Ettelbrick praised Brazil for its "leadership" on the issue to date, saying it had come up against "powerful forces."
"While this is a setback occasioned by intensive lobbying pressure from the Vatican, Islamic states and the far right wing, there are many countries who fully support this resolution and are committed to seeing it go forward," she said.
Earlier this year, Concerned Women for America warned that if the resolution passed at the UNCHR session, it would be a "foot in the door" for homosexual campaigners to press for marriage recognition.
The question here is : do we want the world to become one huge sex orgy with anything or anyone? Or do we want strong marriages and protected children to aid the survival of the human species?
Religion has little to do with it. Death/disease/abuse affect everyone. Homosexuality/bestiality/incest/plague are dangerous to the human race as a whole.