Once again, the US government has taken a firm stand for bigotry against all common sense. Joining with some of the worst violaters of human rights in the world, the US rejected access to the UN for two gay rights organizations. Even Peru, which bans gay people from serving in its military, voted for the petition, and India, which penalizes sodomy with up to 10 years in prison, at least abstained. Rejecting an applicant without even a hearing is nearly unprecedented.
Together with rules meant to prevent other countries from providing potentially life-saving abortions, and policies that outsource torture, this signals a growing alignment with governments that deny life, liberty, and equality to their own citizens.
The US is rapidly forming a de facto anti-human rights bloc at the United Nations.
In May 2005, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which is based in Brussels, and the Danish gay rights group Landsforeningen for Bøsser og Lesbiske (LBL) applied for consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. Consultative status is the only official means by which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world can influence and participate in discussions among member states at the United Nations. Nearly 3,000 groups enjoy this status.
States opposed to the two groups’ applications moved to have them summarily dismissed, an almost unprecedented move at the UN, where organizations are ordinarily allowed to state their cases. The U.S. abstained on a vote which would have allowed the debate to continue and the groups to be heard. It then voted to reject the applications.
As the U.S. government acknowledged in its 2004 country report on Iran, Iranian law punishes homosexual conduct between men with the death penalty. Human Rights Watch has documented four cases of arrests, flogging, or execution of gay men in Iran since 2003. In its 2004 country report on Zimbabwe, the U.S. government noted President Robert Mugabe’s public denouncement of homosexuals, blaming them for "Africa's ills." In the past, Mugabe has called gays and lesbians "people without rights" and "worse than dogs and pigs."
The U.S. has reversed position since 2002, when it voted to support the International Lesbian and Gay Association’s request to have its status reviewed. Officials gave no explanation for the change.
The United States joined with Cameroon, China, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, some of the worst abusers of gay rights, and of human rights in the world to summarily reject the application. Gay rights groups were not even given a hearing to make their case.
Look at some of our "friends":
Homosexual acts are banned in Cameroon, and are punishable with up to five years in jail according to Section 347 of the country's penal code. In May 2005, 11 men were arrested at a nightclub on suspicion of sodomy, and the government threatened to conduct medical examinations to "prove" their homosexual activity. As of February 2006, nearly all were still being detained, with trials scheduled in March 2006
In July 2004, The BBC reported that "Cuban police have once again launched a campaign against homosexuals, specifically directed at travestis whom they are arresting if they are dressed in women's clothing." This follows from reports in 2001 of a police campaign against homosexuals and travestis, who police prevented from meeting in the street and fined, closing down meeting places.
Intercourse between two men is punishable by death and homosexual acts that do not involve intercourse are punishable by 100 lashes. Two young men, at least one a minor, were executed in Mashad in July, some claim, for being gay. Two more men were executed for being gay last November.
Pakistani civil law punishes those who have gay sex with two years to life in prison, while Islamic law, which also can be enforced legally, calls for up to 100 lashes or death by stoning. In May 1997, Mohammad Zaman, 38, a mosque worker, and Fahimullah, a 14-year-old student, were lashed publicly in Bara Bazar in Pakistan's western Khyber Agency, an area administered by local Afridi tribespeople. Zaman received 75 blows and the boy got 32. Police recurrently take money or sex from those they know to be involved in same-sex sex relations.
In late April and early May 2006, protestors blockaded some popular gay clubs in Moscow. After initial complaints that police had failed to intervene, later blockade attempts were met with arrests. In May 2006, a gay rights forum was held in Moscow. An accompanying march was banned by the mayor in a decision upheld by the courts. Some activists tried to march despite the ban and attempted to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider... According to the BBC, anti-march protestors beat the marchers, and about 50 marchers and 20 protestors were arrested when riot police moved in to break up the conflict.
01-Dec-94: Residents of the town of Thies in the African nation of Senegal prevented the burial of a gay man at a Moslem cemetery Nov. 19, said the newspaper Le Soleil, published in Dakar, the capitol. They halted the funeral procession and ordered the man's family to bury him outside of town
Article 319, paragraph 3 of the Senegal Penal Code, in the edition of the law of n° 66-16 of 12 February 1966 bans homosexual conduct as follows:
...whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs. If the act was committed with a person below the age of 21, the maximum penalty will always be applied
Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe's government has made it a criminal offense for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss.
Mugabe told the cheering throng that same-sex marriage is a threat to mankind and condemned churches that bless gay unions.
He said his government would jail and clergy who performed a blessing ceremony for gay couples in Zimbabwe.
Questions for George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, and UN Ambassador nominee Zalmay Khalilzad:
Do you believe that the widespread use of lynching, assault, harassment, denial of public accommidation, and discrimination in employment against gay, lesbian, and transgender people is not important enough to be a concern to the global community?
Are LGBT people not human enough to qualify for a seat at the global table?
What has changed between 2002 and 2007 to make gay rights organizations less qualified to have observer status? Who initiated this change in policy?
George Bush has repeatedly called the War on Terror "a struggle for civilization". My question is, which side are we on?