Thursday, August 07, 2008

Brazil Successfully Pushes Homosexual Rights at OAS Meeting

Brazil Successfully Pushes Homosexual Rights at OAS Meeting

By Samantha Singson

(NEW YORK — C-FAM) The global homosexual movement made significant strides at the Organization of American States (OAS) with passage of a resolution that comes close to making sexual orientation a protected human rights category. Recently, the 38th General Assembly of the OAS passed a resolution entitled “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” presented by the Brazilian delegation.

The resolution "expresses concern about acts of violence and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity." This is similar to hate crimes legislation that is percolating in the United States and elsewhere. The resolution does not make sexual orientation or gender identity as part of the list of established non-discrimination categories such as race, religion and sex. The resolution also agrees to keep the issue on the agenda for future consideration by the OAS Permanent Council and the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs.

Homosexual activist groups claimed victory and heralded the OAS move. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) called the resolution “unprecedented” and touted that “this is the first time in the history of the hemisphere that the words sexual orientation and gender identity appear in an official document approved by the 34 countries of the Americas.”

A coalition of homosexual non-governmental organizations, including ILGA and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, lobbied hard during the OAS meetings to pass the resolution and called upon countries to “repeal all criminalizing and discriminatory legislation, and promote cultural, social and institutional changes which are aimed at preventing and punishing discrimination and violence.”

The Brazilian-sponsored non-binding resolution was passed by consensus meaning that all OAS countries agreed including the United States.

This is not the first time Brazil has pushed a pro-homosexual agenda at the international level. In 2003 at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Brazil introduced a resolution which attempted to make “sexual orientation” part of the list of protected non-discrimination categories. That measure failed because of staunch resistance by UN member states who feared that making sexual orientation a non-discrimination category could lead to the imposition of special legal rights based on “sexual orientation” and court-imposed homosexual “marriage” that would include jailing of religious leaders for speaking out against homosexuality.

Critics fear that the OAS resolution will make it difficult for states to refuse to include sexual orientation in the text of the Inter-American Convention against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance which has been in negotiations for at least two years. The current draft of the Convention defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preferences based on race, color, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation…whose purpose or effect is to nullify or curtail equal recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or other realm of public or private life.”

The draft convention also directs states to enact legislation defining a hate crime as a crime committed with an animus or motive based on “race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, and other similar forms of discrimination,” and to establish criminal and civil penalties for such crimes.

Negotiations on the draft Inter-American Convention are expected to resume next year.

Source: C-Fam


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