Keeping the UN Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference Opening Remarks Lively

By Cathy Kristofferson, April 15, 2013

un_husogiLadies, gentlemen, and all those in between” is how Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, opened the United Nation’s Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’ conference today in Oslo.  Potential for something good, I thought.

He spoke not only of grave human rights violations (in general and of the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights) but also noted that “recent years have been marked by the proliferation of laws prohibiting so-called homosexual propaganda”  saying that “Such legislative measures clearly restrict freedom of expression, association and assembly, and violate the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

eideHe went on to point out that people in many parts of the world face two options: “either to claim their rights and face repression and mistreatment, or to hide their identity and live a life of fear and untapped potential, ” and asserted that,  “Such a reality is unacceptable.”

Of sexual orientation and gender identity’s compatibility with certain cultures and religions he said:

“We often hear that sexual diversity is incompatible with certain cultures or religions. It is true that religious beliefs and traditional and cultural values are essential elements of every society. They are undeniably part of our identity, our history and our present time.

LGBT people are part of all of our societies. They are our family members, our friends, our work colleagues. But collective beliefs and ideas can never justify the infringement of individual rights and freedoms.

The individual’s right to freedom of religion does not imply a right to discriminate against others.

Fundamental freedom of expression does not entail an entitlement to harass or threaten fellow human beings.”

At this point, only 10:07 into the conference, I was already thinking to myself  “Yes but! What about U.S. Evangelicals running around the world doing JUST THAT – not only working to oppress and discriminate against the LGBTI community in the name of their God, denying LGBTI people their freedoms of expression, association and assembly, but also working with and providing guidelines to government officials in various countries against homosexuality.  What of them?”

I offer Exhibit A:  Scott Lively, the U.S. Evangelical anti-gay pastor’s blueprint for opposing non-discrimination human rights ordinances he ‘gave’ to Moldova gift-wrapped as a video posted to the Internet (speaking English with handy native language subtitles):

bilde

This is of course the same approach Scott Lively used last July in Springfield, Missouri. Only there the human rights ordinance for job and housing protections wasn’t “the seed that contains the entire tree of the homosexual agenda” but a ‘Trojan Horse‘ whose message scared that city’s Human Rights Commission into withdrawing their proposed ordinance.

Both the United States and the United Nations must own up to the fact that the countries called out for oppressing the LGBTI community are not often doing it on their own, or even of their own accord.

While some indeed are,  by and large they are being aided by Western factions.

For many years these anti-gay Westerners have been allowed to run around unchecked, clinging to their own claimed freedoms of speech and religion, while denying the LGBTI community those very freedoms and worse yet, engage willing participants to suppress, oppress, discriminate, do harm, and whatever they can to keep LGBTI people as second class and lower citizens. All to deprive LGBTI world citizens of their basic human rights, as enshrined in that Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Mr. Eide spoke, so eloquently.  Yes, what of them?

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