On Monday, the State Department issued a joint statement in the UN’s Human Rights Council opposing the criminalization of homosexuality. Currently, well over 70 countries impose criminal penalties for gays and lesbians, and the statement has the support of 84 countries. According to the Family Research Council, however, the US is committing a great injustice by condemning the criminalization of people because of their sexual orientation. The FRC dubs it “Operation International Tolerance,” complete with a picture of Obama wearing a rainbow helmet:
The FRC claims that the resolution will “force acceptance of the world’s gays and lesbians,” and defended countries that criminalize homosexuality or “any behavior they think is harmful to society”:
While American forces bomb away at Libya, the Obama administration is launching another global offensive: Operation International Tolerance. As he looks on from South America, the President put troops on the ground today for a meeting of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, where his diplomats plan to strong-arm other countries into embracing homosexuality. In a major U-turn from the Bush years, the Obama administration is actually initiating an “anti-discrimination” resolution to force acceptance of the world’s gays and lesbians. As recently as 2008, the United States refused to sign a similar declaration because President Bush thought it conflicted with the states’ rights to pass things like marriage amendments.
Obviously, FRC believes that homosexuals and transgenders shouldn’t be subjected to violence. But this resolution goes well beyond that to endorsing a behavior that dozens of member nations oppose. No binding document of international law has ever recognized a universal “human right” to engage in sex with a person of the same gender. And although even the U.N. admits that “resolutions” like this one “aren’t legally binding,” they do help to create a legal norm. We’ve seen this similar approach with respect to abortion, where countries like the U.S. have tried to insinuate a “right” under international law where there is none. Our global neighbors have the freedom to believe that homosexuality is wrong–just as they have the freedom to legislate against any behavior they think is harmful to society. That freedom–and their very sovereignty–would be threatened by this effort.