BY AUSTIN RUSE, DECEMBER 23, 2016
This week the brave African delegations to the UN fought a rear-guard action to stop a new UN office that will seek out and punish any country or institution that does not bend to the will of the dominant LGBT ethos.
This months-long fight began at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and it was almost stopped there. It could have been stopped there. It could have been stopped anywhere along the way as it moved from Geneva to the Third Committee of the General Assembly and finally this week to the General Assembly itself.
All that was left to the Africa Group was to try and delay the office’s implementation for “further study.” This very well could have been the end of it, but the Africans couldn’t even win that, as hard as they tried.
For decades the radical LGBTs have used the Human Rights Council to advance the notion of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as a new category of identity that can be enforced by international law. To date, the LGBTs have made very little progress.
The only mention of sexual orientation and gender identity to appear in a General Assembly resolution has been the annual resolution condemning summary execution and extra judicial killing. Even that was a struggle. Even the Vatican opposed that and for their trouble was accused by the New York Times, no less, of favoring the execution of homosexuals. The Vatican and other delegations have opposed any introduction of SOGI into UN documents because no matter how benign the usage, it would eventually be bootstrapped into a new category of nondiscrimination on par with freedom of religion and other more broadly accepted categories.
A few years ago, the Human Rights Council agreed to fund a report on violence based on SOGI. Everyone knew this was only the beginning. This new global LGBT enforcer is the culmination of that effort. Well, not really, the culmination will be the persecution of countries, groups, and individuals who may oppose the left’s sexual agenda.
At the debate this week, echoing what the New York Times viciously said about the Vatican a few years ago, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, accused the Africans of being willingly complicit in the massacre of homosexuals in Orlando and the throwing of homosexuals off the top of roofs by the thugs of ISIS. This is despicable and Power should be ashamed that she would stoop so low but she isn’t.
The final vote to delay the new office was 84-77 with what appears to be 31 abstentions. The US and the EU put the hammer down on this proposal. They put pressure directly on ministries of foreign affairs all over the world. They likely made threats. And even with all that, they only won by seven votes.
The very discouraging news is that the rapacious and extremely radical Europeans would not allow their member states to have a conscience vote, that is, to vote as they wished, but insisted that the EU consensus in favor of the new office not be broken. The consensus is something that is always driven by France, Germany and the United Kingdom. More conservative countries like Hungary, Poland and Croatia might have done the right thing, but they would not break the EU consensus. They issued strong statements instead. Big deal. Very brave. What about Catholic Malta? Malta just made it illegal for counselors to treat anyone who has unwanted same-sex desire. Malta is lost.
I say this could have been stopped by Rome and by that I mean the Vatican secretariat of state. I am not suggesting that the Vatican supported this new office. They did not. I am also not pointing fingers at the Holy See delegations in either New York or Geneva. They could not kill this proposal all on their own, especially one that has the full support of the UN bureaucracy, the EU and the US. The Vatican delegations in New York and Geneva do heroic work, but they are small in number and simply overwhelmed by the sheer numbers on the other side.
No, what was needed was a fully engaged Vatican secretariat of state and maybe even a pope willing to work national capitals, to send out diplomatic cables, to call ministers of foreign affairs. Rome might have broken the EU consensus. At the very least, Rome could have moved a few of the abstentions to our side. All that was needed was the changing of four votes.
I have seen what happens when Rome gets so engaged. It is a sight to behold. Countries are moved. Foreign ministers change their minds. Allies are bolstered and emboldened. In the many years my team and I have been doing this work at the UN, we have seen the ability of the Vatican in Rome to make things happen at the UN. It is remarkable.
Pope Francis knows about this issue. He speaks beautifully about it. He calls it “ideological colonialism” and he is exactly right. He has heard for years from the African Synod of Bishops calling out for relief from rapacious western NGOs and governments trying to impose the anti-family agenda on their countries. Standing publicly against this new UN enforcer on LGBT would have been the perfect expression of the pope’s opposition to ideological colonialism.
So, here we are, there is this great victory for the LGBT radicals and this is what will happen. The new LGBT czar will come after traditional peoples. He will come after the Africans. He will come after the Catholics. He will come after the Vatican. Recall, a few years ago when a UN treaty monitoring body ordered the Church to change her ancient teachings on homosexuality and other aspects of human sexuality? This will be that and in spades.
This could have been stopped at any point along the way even unto its tragic approval in the General Assembly this week. I do not accuse Pope Francis. He cannot do everything and he can only do what is brought to him. And there are folks in Rome whose priorities are simply out of balance because there is a far greater threat to souls from the LGBT agenda than from global warming. You have to know that if this was a special UN office to promote the use of greenhouse gases, it would have been stopped cold.
Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.