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Obama Administration to Endorse UN Declaration on LGBT Human Rights Refused by Bush

A United Nations declaration on human rights which calls for the global decriminalization of homosexuality which the U.S. declined to sign under Bush last December will be endorsed by the Obama administration, the AP reports:

Earth "U.S. officials said Tuesday they had notified the declaration's French sponsors that the administration wants to be added as a supporter. The Bush administration was criticized in December when it was the only western government that refused to sign on. The move was made after an interagency review of the Bush administration's position on the nonbinding document, which was signed by all 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries, the officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Congress was still being notified of the decision. They said the administration had decided to sign the declaration to demonstrate that the United States supports human rights for all. 'The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world,' said one official. 'As such, we join with the other supporters of this statement and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora,' the official said. The official added that the United States was concerned about 'violence and human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual individuals" and was also "troubled by the criminalization of sexual orientation in many countries.' ... 'In the words of the United States Supreme Court, the right to be free from criminalization on the basis of sexual orientation 'has been accepted as an integral part of human freedom',' the official said."

The Vatican and the Organisation of Islamic States have been vocal in their opposition to the declaration.

The global petition initiative was launched by Prof. Louis-Georges Tin, president of the International Committee for IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia)

Said Peter Tatchell of London's activist group OutRage! in December: "It will be the first time in its history that the UN General Assembly has ever considered the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) human rights."

The text of the declaration, AFTER THE JUMP...


Petition “For a universal decriminalization of homosexuality”


The Universal declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.


The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976)

Article 17

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.


The Human Rights Committee’s decision in Toonen v. Australia (04 April 1994)

We ask the United Nations to request a universal abolition of the so-called “crime of homosexuality”, of all “sodomy laws”, and laws against so-called “unnatural acts” in all the countries where they still exist.

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  1. It's a start. Now follow up with ending DADT and nationally recognized civil unions (or at least stop taxing our health benefits as "income).

    Posted by: r | Mar 17, 2009 10:48:58 PM

  2. It's a token gesture at best but anything that pisses off the conservatives I'm all for and they're PISSED!

    Posted by: Marc | Mar 17, 2009 11:44:52 PM


    Posted by: doro | Mar 17, 2009 11:51:36 PM

  4. Our gay community will never acknowledge anything positive this administration does to help us achieve or freedom. We have a personal grudge against Obama remember?? We loathe him so much that it often clouds our judgment of the work he is doing. You know fox news is often anti-gay, but our community shares something with them. we all wish Obama would drop dead.

    Posted by: jose | Mar 18, 2009 12:29:09 AM

  5. Jose, it's really only the old school "Im a gay man/strong woman" who can't bring themselves to admit Obama is a far better president than their queen Hillary ever could have been. It's sad really, but younger gays have definately moved beyond female diva worship so there is hope.

    Posted by: Stan | Mar 18, 2009 12:36:11 AM

  6. wow! commonsense at the top after 8 years of absurdity. happy St Pat's, mr O'bama.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 18, 2009 12:46:11 AM

  7. @jose, I think the Obama issues they have is "the black thing".I think most gay MEN are as racist as fox news presenters. That's just my observation as black gay male.I could be wrong, but that's what I have seen and heard.

    Posted by: Anthony | Mar 18, 2009 12:54:38 AM

  8. Finally! this is a huge movement in the right direction. I'm glad 8 years of Bush are gone, gone gone! and BTW @Anthony . Do not generalize. I am the biggest Obama fan. may be the older gay people are racists but not me or my circle of friends. Please do not generalize. I am now waiting for DADT to be overturned.

    Posted by: Tom | Mar 18, 2009 1:11:26 AM

  9. This is wonderful news. The US is taking a loud stance that it believes in human rights for people regardless of sexual orientation.

    But we are far, very far, from where we want to be.

    The dawn of the LGBT civil rights movement that so many will learn about decades from now is upon us, and we will be the ones writing this incredible slice of history over the next few years. As the plaintiffs of the Prop 8 Case heard by the CA Supreme Court said at the SF Eve of Justice Rally, "Here we all are together, and our names are on this moment. And when your name is on a moment, you have a choice. You stand up, or you walk away." This will be a struggle, one that will last for awhile, and it may be easy to walk away at many points on the road. Remember this. When you have finally finished walking forward, many many years into our future, if you are still on the same road that we have started to travel now all together, you will feel heartfelt pride in who and what you stand for, and the courage that you emanate will be deafening, and you will be with your deserved equal, civil, human rights.

    Posted by: Sean Chapin | Mar 18, 2009 1:39:34 AM

  10. @anthony

    There is a lot of racism in the gay community. This often takes on class dimensions, as black men generally make less money than white men. (Gay white men, it should be said, generally make more money than straight white men.)

    There's also the quite racist association of black men with violence, misogyny, homophobia, etc.

    Though I'm not satisfied that racism explains the attachment to Hillary Clinton during the campaign by gays and gay organizations. It seems more likely to me that Hillary Clinton was more of an authoritarian figure, and Obama more of an outsider (during the primaries), and gay men (as natural authoritarians) were attracted to this. Gay organizations are also quite obsessed with power and personal prestige, and they perhaps felt an opening with Clinton, a "place at the table" as it were. There's also a diva complex that probably has a role, as well.

    Now, on topic, this is great news and I'm glad that Obama is taking up gay causes. I generally distrust the Democratic Party, and don't see them as particularly interested in gay rights beyond fluff words, but I voted for Obama out of a hope that gay issues would receive more attention. I'm glad that they are.

    Posted by: Xtabentun | Mar 18, 2009 1:54:11 AM

  11. @ JOSE: SOME Refuse to accept Obama, but as a die-hard supporter from way back to before the primaries, I'm grateful for everything that he does for our communities.

    Posted by: Cameron Johnson | Mar 18, 2009 1:56:17 AM

  12. This is great great news! As a gay immigrant from Iraq, where gay people are killed daily, I am proud of this administration and what they are about to do for gay human beings worldwide.This is the reason most of the world was supporting Obama. He has a heart, something that bush did not have. Bush refused to sign this very important declaration, but he was busy invading my country. I contributed so much money for this guys' election and I do not regret it. He now holds the most powerful office in the world and he is gay friendly. I hope he continues helping us achieve freedom.

    Posted by: Omar | Mar 18, 2009 2:24:45 AM

  13. As somebody who wasn't an early supporter of President Obama, I'd say he has done an admirable job thus far. The challenges are enormous. And he has hit the ground running.

    If you're a Democrat and you're still going after Obama at this point, you're either a DINO conservative who disagrees with him on principle (which is fine), a "New Democrat" PUMA (get over it, as Hillary has), or you're a racist. Certainly, he has done absolutely nothing to deserve the vile, poisonous vitriol some white men in our community have thrown at him.

    Posted by: John in CA | Mar 18, 2009 2:52:10 AM

  14. How can I post this page to my facebook profile ?

    Posted by: francis | Mar 18, 2009 3:05:47 AM

  15. Now that is a great St.Patrick's Day present. How refreshing to hear the old decent admirable USA reassert itself. We missed you. Liberty and justice for all !

    Posted by: Hephaistion | Mar 18, 2009 5:07:59 AM

  16. So Obama signed a toothless non-binding resolution. Are gays supposed to cheer? What about Obama broken promise to end DOMA (you'll notice the Obama Administration is now citing DOMA as the very reason they will not obey a recent judges order to issue benefits to same-sex couples). What about Obama's promise to end DADT (I guess that would piss of Obama's bigot friends too much). Yeah, signing a worthless declaration, that's so much better that actually having integrity and keeping your word.

    Posted by: Wayne | Mar 18, 2009 7:02:21 AM

  17. Bravo! Now it's time for this administration to practice what it preaches by jettisoning DADT and DOMA, passing the hate crimes bill and shelving this whole "leave it to the states" crap about marriage equality. Say it with me: "Civil rights should never be put up to a popular vote".

    Posted by: ichabod | Mar 18, 2009 7:30:56 AM

  18. Why isn't a picture of Prof. Louis-Georges Tin in this posting to show who this man is.

    Tin, a French university professor who was born in Martinique, is an emerging black activist in France.

    There are pics of white straight guys doing less than this black gay man for gay rights on a GLOBAL front.

    What gives Andy he is not attractive enough, hip enough to be included or are you showing who you really are. There are pics of black men who have done a crime against a gay person but not of one who is assisting the community.

    By the way Mr. Clinton made DOMA and DADT possible with the blessing of many Democrats and very little noise from the gay community. Mr. Obama is trying to tackle with over 20 years of social misdirection, a failing economy that was built on people making and spending more than they ever should. This is not only for the rich but the middle class as well.

    Also, before I forget trying to deal with the MAJOR loss of jobs caused by another Clinton regime political move: WTO. I watched for YEARS how the democratic party and voters loved this buffoon. Clinton's steps made it ridiculously easy for Bush and the Republicans to strip money away from the global economy, now do you see where we are economically and socially. So many keys humane issues were overlooked while pockets were filled with money and debt assigned to someone else.

    On last thought: I really wish more Americans would pick up a book and start reading and researching credible sources from American and foreign materials to get a holistic picture of these issues.

    Posted by: You Know Me | Mar 18, 2009 8:23:38 AM

  19. @Xtabentun

    Please explain what you mean when you say gay men are "natural authoritarians," because on its face this statement is absurd.

    Posted by: HomoDM | Mar 18, 2009 8:35:04 AM

  20. Bravo! After 8 years of Bush, finally we have a decent person in the White House. I was for Hillary but of course voted for Obama (are you kidding, look at the alternative...). But I must say, I am absolutely impressed and amazed at what he has been doing in the White House in such a short time. Is he perfect, no... but IMHO he is doing things far faster than Hillary would have. I'm happy to say I was wrong - he was the better candidate - the primary system appears to have worked (shocking... LOL). As a side note, to say that the Republicans have been shameful in regards to gay rights is a fricken' major understatement.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 18, 2009 8:36:18 AM

  21. Wayne, DOMA is a statute passed into law by Congress. Only Congress can end it so bitch about Pelosi and Reid, both of whom have had their jobs longer than Obama's had his. Obama is Mr. President, not Mr. Wizard. He can't wave a magic wand and make laws disappear.

    Posted by: Clay | Mar 18, 2009 9:11:47 AM

  22. It was Hilary's previous record as an egalitarian that gave her an initial edge. She had a track record of fostering progressive policies. Obama had none. He is a very cool guy! I think (as a canadian) the whole world would have voted for him if we could have. That said - it's easy to sign documents like this that have little force other than rhetoric. He has to DO something as president for human rights to be remembered as the first great black President or the first truly socially aware president (either title would be great), since Lincoln.

    Obama is a very sexy man and intimidates all kinds of men. he's exactly too good for his own good. He makes str8 and gay men feel a bit inferior. He's good looking, smart, a good dancer, pretty much the whole package. So that explains the inner jealousy that a lot of folks have. I just hope some crazy doesn't get too close. He's got a lot of good work to do after all those promises.

    Posted by: Jason | Mar 18, 2009 11:07:04 AM

  23. JOSE,

    i don't know what you are on about. perhaps hillary might have made a better prez. alas, we will never know. nevertheless, i support obama and his policies. hillary brings a lot to the table. obama and she are already getting the world back on our side. if they can move on, why can't we?

    Posted by: nic | Mar 18, 2009 11:38:55 AM

  24. Wow, so much stupidity in these posts.

    First, great, big bullywoolly. I am not seeing how you can sign this and then be against gay marriage.

    Two, I've noticed a lot of young gay vs "old" gay infighting here lately. Just a quick note to you newbies, unless and until you've lived past 30, you don't know jack except how to put the latest dumbass app on your I-phone. Trust me on this one. I'm almost the same age, but, younger than our President. Which one of us is "old"?

    Third, does anybody remember the world before Bill and Hillary Clinton? It bit big bone. With the emergence of The Clintons the LGBT community was able to finally crawl out from under the rocks and into the mainstream. Hell, Donna Brazile wouldn't have been able to make a career out of bashing Hillary during the primaries if it were not for them. They had to compromise, it sucked, they tried.

    The fourth point I want to make is that during the campaign Hillary said a lot of things about Obama that were true. Amd vice versa. They got over. I was a Hillary supporter and because I'm Black, I got called every name in the book, up to and including "Uncle Tom" and "House N****r". I got over it and I suggest that those of you bashing Hillary and her supporters do the same. We who are Democrats need to pull together, especially us Gay Democrats as we have a long hard road ahead of us.

    I guess my point is that although we certainly should express our differences, let's at least try to be substantive about them. "Old" vs young is just negative and serves no purpose.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Mar 18, 2009 12:07:47 PM

  25. DEREK W,


    Posted by: nic | Mar 18, 2009 12:47:50 PM

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