Wednesday, January 25, 2006


U.S. Nixes Gay Inclusion At UN
by Doug Windsor, New York Bureau

Posted: January 24, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(New York City) The United States joined with four of the world's most repressive regimes to reject an application by two international LGBT groups seeking to join a UN agency that advises the world body on economics and social issues.

The application by the International Lesbian and Gay Association and the Danish Association of Gays and Lesbians was dismissed without a hearing.

The groups had sought inclusion on the United Nations Economic and Social Council, a think tank made up of non governmental agencies from around the world.

The United States voted with Iran, Zimbabwe, China, Cameroon against granting a hearing for the application.

ECOSOC status allows NGOs to attend UN meetings and speak in their own name. The Council already has participation from labor and social rights groups.

The governments of Iran and Zimbabwe are considered to be among the most repressive anti-gay regimes in the world.

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has long scapegoated and persecuted gay men and lesbians. The recently-elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has overseen an anti-gay campaign in recent months, in which many young people accused of homosexual acts reportedly have been executed.

Egypt also voted against considering the application. That country too has a history of persecuting gay men.

"It is an absolute outrage that the United States has chosen to align itself with tyrants — all in a sickening effort to smother the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

"Apparently Iran, which President Bush has deemed part of the 'Axis of Evil,' is a suitable partner when it comes to discriminating against gay people," said Foreman.

The ILGA has been trying to get inclusion on the Council for the past four years. Each time it has been met with roadblocks created in part by the US.

Three years ago, the United States abstained from voting on a sexual orientation nondiscrimination resolution offered by Brazil via the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

The Bush-Cheney administration has also opposed women's and children's rights treaties, sex education, contraception and family planning in international forums.

:::NOTE: I am not a big fan of the UN - it's council against human rights abuses contain countries with horrific abuse records. Now we have Abu Ghraib and Gitmo on our record.


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