Oh fair, wonderful, loving United States of America. While the rest of the Western world moves forward to a place where all people are created equal, you remain stuck between a Church and a hard place, refusing to accept that gay men and women are just like everybody else, and deserve the same rights as everybody else. So, while 66 countries in the United Nations General Assembly agreed to pass a resolution decriminalizing homosexuality, this great nation refused to get on board. Of course, the U.S. isn’t alone here.
Russia, China, the Roman Catholic Church and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference all refused to accept the language under the foolish excuse that it would also — stay with me here — legitimize pedophilia.
It’s the first time the issue has been brought before the 191-member U.N.; a French-Netherlands effort brought it to the floor for a vote on the heels of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Reports the Times:
â€œHow can we tolerate the fact that people are stoned, hanged, decapitated and tortured only because of their sexual orientation?â€ said Rama Yade, the French state secretary for human rights, noting that homosexuality is banned in nearly 80 countries and subject to the death penalty in at least six.
France decided to use the format of a declaration because it did not have the support for an official resolution. Read out by Ambassador Jorge ArgÃ¼ello of Argentina, the declaration was the first on gay rights read in the 192-member General Assembly itself.
Although laws against homosexuality are concentrated in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, more than one speaker addressing a separate conference on the declaration noted that the laws stemmed as much from the British colonial past as from religion or tradition.
Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, speaking by video telephone, said that just like apartheid laws that criminalized sexual relations between different races, laws against homosexuality â€œare increasingly becoming recognized as anachronistic and as inconsistent both with international law and with traditional values of dignity, inclusion and respect for all.â€
The opposing statement read in the General Assembly, supported by nearly 60 nations, rejected the idea that sexual orientation was a matter of genetic coding. The statement, led by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said the effort threatened to undermine the international framework of human rights by trying to normalize pedophilia, among other acts.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference also failed in a last-minute attempt to alter a formal resolution that Sweden sponsored condemning summary executions. It sought to have the words â€œsexual orientationâ€ deleted as one of the central reasons for such killings.