UN Rights Office Gets Human Rights Wrong
GENEVA, November 7 (C-Fam) Two weeks ago the Singapore high court ruled that the city-state’s ban on sex between men was constitutional.
The case revolved around a man caught performing illegal acts with another man in a public toilet, along with a homosexual couple who claimed discrimination, and arbitrary arrest, and that the ban violated constitutional protections of privacy. The petitioners also asserted special protections based on “sexual orientation.”
In upholding the 76-year-old British-colonial era law, the Court said they could not read “sexual orientation” into the constitution and that there were no protections for homosexual activity. The Court told the petitioners that any remedy for the law had to come from the legislature and that the court could not become a “mini-legislature.”
Almost immediately the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights chimed in. A spokesman for the High Commissioner said, ““Using criminal law to prosecute individuals for engaging in consensual same sex conduct violates a host of human rights guaranteed in international law, including the right to privacy, the right to freedom from discrimination, and the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention including protection for sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Putting aside the question of whether there ought to be laws against sodomy or not, the notion that international law includes “sexual orientation” as a protected category has never been accepted by the States Parties to any UN human rights treaty or by the UN General Assembly or by the UN Human Rights Council based in Geneva.
Some non-governmental organizations, left-wing lawyers and even some in the UN community, including some treaty monitoring bodies and the Office of Human Rights, have pushed the proposition but to no avail. No normative body has accepted “sexual orientation” as a protected category of non-discrimination.
The Yogyakarta Principles, a document written by non-governmental actors, is the primary engine for this effort. The document calls for “sexual orientation” to be read into all UN human rights treaties. Still, no UN bodies have recognized this document.
Advocates have had a very hard time even getting the phrase “sexual orientation” into UN documents at all. It has appeared in a resolution condemning summary execution and in two resolutions in Geneva calling for a study of violence against homosexuals.
The ruling of the High Court in Singapore and the impotence of the Office of High Commission for Human Rights both point to the reality on the ground about LGBT issues. The LGBT cause is almost exclusively the effort of a minority in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. The LGBT agenda is largely resisted around the world. For instance, only 19 countries out of more than 220 listed in the CIA World Fact Book allow for same-sex “marriage.”
The term “sexual orientation and gender identity” is in play in the current General Assembly debate in a resolution condemning “bullying.” It is unlikely the term will remain in the resolution since delegations understand that the real purpose is to bootstrap a new human right to homosexual activity.