Friday, February 20, 2009
Now, this is change we can believe in.
In late December, the United Nations General Assembly held a vote on a statement calling for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality. France spearheaded the resolution, which was a 13 point declaration “to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.” The statement received 60 votes in support, mostly from Europe and South America. Opposing the resolution, were the United States, the Holy See, and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
At the time, the Bush administration couched its objection to the measure in legal technicalities.
Well, that was before Barack Obama was elected president.
At the “Durban Review Conference” on racism and xenophonia underway in Geneva, Europe again put forward language condemning “all forms of discrimination and all other human rights violations based on sexual orientation.” According to UN Watch:
“The Czech Republic on behalf of the E.U., with the support of New Zealand, the United States, Colombia, Chili on behalf of the South American states, the Netherlands, Argentina and a few others, took the floor in support.”
The efforts to include language on discrimination based on sexual orientation ended up failing for lack of support from non-western countries but it’s still a relief to see that the United States on the side of the enlightened on this issue of basic human rights.