Homosexual and Transgender Issues Backfire on Western States at UN

By | July 7, 2022

GENEVA, July 8 (C-Fam) The UN Czar for homosexual and transgender issues narrowly survived a fierce challenge in the Human Rights Council this week, as Muslim countries, increasingly frustrated by what they see as Western cultural imperialism, fought back.

The Organization for Islamic Cooperation mounted a well-coordinated campaign to repeal and undermine the UN post on homosexual and transgender issues with 13 amendments categorically rejecting the mandate of the UN independent expert as inconsistent with international human rights law. Western delegations were in damage control mode for the entire voting session, even having to concede ground before a barrage of amendments.

The mandate survived a close vote, with 17 countries opposing it, and 23 supporting it. But it did not survive unscathed. An amendment to defend the “sovereign right” of countries to legislate as they see fit on controversial social issues passed by 22 votes, with the emerging superpower India providing a key swing vote. All other amendments failed.

The targeted amendments from the Islamic group of states sought to uphold national sovereignty and opposed international financial and political pressure on contentious social issues. They also contested unfettered sexual autonomy and transgender ideology and included language against homosexual marriage.

During the contentious and protracted vote, speaking on behalf of the 54 countries that are part of the Islamic group of states, a representative of Pakistan said the mandate “neither reflects the legality nor the universal values of human rights.”

“There is no universal consensus on the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said.

He explained that international human rights law sets out definite categories of non-discrimination based on race, religion, sex, and other status and that there was no need to “elevate the personal sexual preferences of individuals as human rights.”

While he rejected violence against any person on any grounds, he said “we cannot support efforts to invent new rights on the basis of personal sexual preferences.”

He also accused Western countries of undermining “respect for diversity and pluralism” when they promote divisive policies that “run counter to the social, cultural and religious particularity” of different countries, and urged respect for the family as the “natural and fundamental unit of society.”

Representatives of the United States, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, the Netherlands, and others tried to claim that “sexual orientation and gender identity” is now a settled issue that had been previously included in United Nations resolutions. They said the mandate was limited and that homosexual marriage did not come under its purview. But their arguments did not persuade Islamic countries.

The lively debate in the voting session proved that homosexual and transgender issues continue to face an uphill struggle internationally. Rather than more support for the mandate, there was more opposition to the mandate than three years ago, when the last vote took place.

There was evidence of broad opposition to the more radical elements of the homosexual and transgender agenda. Western countries found themselves backpedaling on homosexual marriage and claiming that there was no conflict between religious freedom and homosexual and transgender issues. And moderate states like India supported the sovereign right of states to legislate on controversial social issues.

The vote also highlighted the growing disconnect between national political realities and UN social policy debates. Several countries where homosexual and transgender issues are politically unpopular, including Brazil, Paraguay, Benin, Namibia, and others, supported the mandate.