Republicans Rep. Chris Smith (NJ) and Trent Franks (AZ) (pictured L-R) joined their fellow bigots in Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in trying to deny the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission status as a United Nations consultant, where it would enjoy a more formal role in studies, research, and resolutions. Too bad: The group was voted in.
While the U.N.’s Non-Governmental Organization Committee has stalled on voting IGLHRC into the fold for three years, and last year formally blocked it, mainly because nations like Egypt, Angola, Burundi, China, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, and Sudan refused to let a queer rights group into the U.N. — and inevitably examine these countries’ minority rights records. Thus, it was America’s U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice who brought up a resolution directly, and thus skipped over the committee. The vote came in at 23-13 in favor of recognizing IGLHRC, with 13 states abstaining.
Which means Reps. Smith and Franks got shot down, along with their small-minded Middle Eastern allies. The lawmakers’ main rationale? Permitting IGLHRC into the U.N. would be an affront to human rights. And something about freedom of religion.