Posts Tagged 'UDHR'

America Disgraces Itself – Again

By now, you may have heard about the United Nation’s unprecedented choice to focus on GLBT rights for the first time in history. Representatives of sixty-six member states signed a General Assembly statement urging the decriminalisation of homosexuality throughout the world, along with immediate cessation of imprisonment, torture, deprivation of rights and exectution as punishment for these ‘crimes’. This timely intervention should be applauded, even if the statement is merely symbolic and has no legally binding power; it’s heartening to see GLBT rights issues framed in the context of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Unfortunately, representatives from the USA seemed to disagree, as they decided not to sign the UN statement. Keep in mind that this is the country that prides itself on setting the grade curve when it comes to the upholding of human rights, and which has itself universally decriminalised all forms of homosexuality. America’s support should have been a foregone conclusion – what gives? Apparently, the military’s backwards ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy got in the way. Keep in mind that many of the other countries who refused to back the statement still hold homosexuality as a punishable offence and still, in some cases, execute people for engaging in homosexual sex; the United States should be condemning these deplorable human rights abuses in the strongest terms possible, particularly in cases where homosexual men and women lack the ability to speak for themselves.

If the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy is really forcing America into withdrawing its support for this kind of initiative, the obvious course of action is to abolish it. The last thing that America needs right now is to embarrass itself on the world stage yet again by demonstrating that it’s lofty principles can be bent or broken to suit a political agenda.

UPDATE: Faith Leaders from LGBT Groups Issue Joint Statement Denouncing Vatican, Supporting UN Resolution.