GOP Congressmen Side with Islamic Governments to Oppose Obama Request to UN to Approve Gay Group’s Consultative Status

Smith_franks

On Monday,  the Obama administration plans to press for the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to grant "consultative status" to an American group, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), to allow it to participate in U.N. meetings along with thousands of other international non-government organizations.

Logo_un But the Obama administration's efforts are encountering some opposition — a group of anti-gay Islamic nations led by Egypt…and two Republican congressmen, Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ). The two congressmen sent a letter to the UN urging it to oppose the U.S. request.

Turtle Bay reports:

In June, Egypt led efforts in the NGO committee to block a request by the U.S. to grant the group consultative status, which would provide the groups representatives with a U.N. grounds pass and to participate formally in U.N. meetings on human rights, health ,and other issues. Angola, Burundi, China, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, and Sudan backed the Egyptian invocation of a "no motion" procedure that blocked action on the application. Turkey abstained.

The United States and Britain, with support from Romania, criticized the move as a delaying tactic. "We know from the past that their further responses will never satisfy certain delegations," Britain's representative to the NGO committee, Cristina Barbaglia, said in June.

…..

The Republican Party's social conservatives, along with Christian organizations, have long worked closely with some of the U.N.'s most conservative Islamic groups to prevent social liberals, including gays and women's rights group, from promoting their views within the United Nations.

In criticizing the current U.S. position, Smith and Franks drew upon arguments presented by Egypt and other conservative governments that allow little freedom of expression on their own soil. They cited something called the Yogyakarta Principles, which IGLHCR has endorsed, that appeals to states to "ensure that the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression does not violate the rights and freedoms of persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities."

Egypt's representative, Wael Attiya, raised concern back in June that such principles could be used to subject religious leaders, who condemn homosexual behavior, to be persecuted. If a "preacher says that a relationship between same sex [couples] is wrong, will the preacher be hunted," he said in June.

Fifteen congressmen sent a letter to the UN today urging the body to approve the White House request.

Comments

  1. TANK says

    They have more in common than they don’t. What’s so ironic is the freedom of religion argument being used by christofascists to assist islamofascists given that neither truly believe that either is entitled to it.

  2. TANK says

    franks as pedoface, too. Weird moreau features…whereas smith just looks like a white supremacist. I’m sure their islamic counterparts are ripe for comedy, too. uvulating psychopaths.

  3. Mike says

    Turkey probably only abstained to avoid jeopardizing its accession to the European Union, which is the subject of heated debate already.

  4. BoxerDad says

    Does anyone know if it’s common procedure for congressmen to go against the president’s policy and appeal directly to the U.N.? It seems like douchey thing to do, but maybe Dems did it too, when Bush was in office. I kind of think I would remember John porn ‘stache Bolton going ballistic if they did, though.

  5. scott says

    c’mon, towle! you can’t think of a less islamophobic way to share this? russia and china aren’t ‘islamic governments’ and they were a large part of this. we shouldn’t put down a religion to try to build ourselves up

  6. TANK says

    scott, don’t you belong with the moonbats and free mumia nutsos over at JMG? They eat that shit up, seriously…facts aren’t bigotry. Russia and china aren’t islamic nations…but russia has always been cozy with egypt.

  7. alexInBoston says

    Just how much hate can you hide your faith belief system before you realize how so unchrist-like you are? especially when aligning with those who kill GLBT people! Wouldn’t that make you an accessory after the fact?

  8. Bruno says

    On a tangent, how did Trent Franks come to look like that? Did a motorcycle run square over his face?

  9. Patric says

    EXCELLENT point, Scott. I thought the same thing myself. I’d add that, since Angola and Burundi are Christian nations, half of the nations which backed the procedural motion aimed at blocking IGLHRC are not Islamic nations and, more significantly, probably something like 90% of the people who live in these eight nations are not Muslim (well over half of them being Chinese). Sensational, but misleading, headline.

  10. Max says

    Scott, China and Russia often vote with the UN’s regressive Islamic bloc. Social conservatives are scary, but Christianity is still a better religion overall.

    There are 7 countries in which homosexuality is punishable by death. They are ALL Muslim-majority countries.

    Iran (98% Muslim)
    Mauritania (100% Muslim)
    Nigeria (50% Muslim)
    Saudi Arabia (100% Muslim)
    Sudan (70% Muslim)
    United Arab Emirates (96% Muslim)
    Yemen (99% Muslim)

    Sources: Wikipedia and CIA Factbook.

    In contrast, every single country in the world which recognizes same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships is Christian-majority, except Israel, which is Jewish-majority (and recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad).

  11. GrabbinNewscum says

    Somehow the radical leftist anti-Semites will figure out a way to blame Israel for this.

  12. Patric says

    Max, your earnest efforts to show that Christianity is “better” than Islam strike me as resembling the efforts of someone who is arguing that Hitler was worse than Mussolini: Well, yeah sure but, so what??

    As we witnessed this past week in Argentina, rights for gay people have generally been obtained in the West not because of the Catholic Church or other churches but in spite of their fierce opposition to our humane treatment. What separates the West from the Middle East is that our governmental structures generally limit the influence of organized religion in matters of governance and allow individuals freedom of expression and religion. That is why we have achieved what we have, and that has also forced somewhat of a moderation in Church teachings over the years on numerous topics, including for instance interracial marriage, as popular opinion has led Church doctrine and not the other way around. We should hope for the same thing for our brothers and sisters in Muslim countries.

    There are millions of wonderful Muslims around the world, many of them gay and lesbian, and I cannot understand how it advances our interests to denigrate them or their religion as somehow worse than Christianity or Judaism. We should be building bridges with them and working with them, to the extent that we can, to dislodge the brutal despots who have used and distorted Islam to strengthen their own grip on power.

    Personally, and I say this as someone who spent eight years in Catholic school and as someone who counts my beloved Catholic church-going parents as among the most important people in my life, I hope for a future in which all of the world’s traditional organized religions have been tossed in the dustbin of history in favor of the Deepak Chopras, Marianne Williamsons and Wayne Dyers of the world.

  13. Max says

    “…I cannot understand how it advances our interests to denigrate them or their religion as somehow worse than Christianity or Judaism.”

    Because Islam is mercilessly violent. That is exactly what we should denigrate.

    And if rights are won in the West despite Christianity, then why can’t they be won in Islamic countries despite Islam?

  14. harpy says

    Because Max, Christian countries tend to be richer (why? I wonder if it has anything to do with centuries of Colonialism) and let’s be frank, homo-social subcultures thrive in regions of economic stability. Uganada is a christian majority country yet you don’t see them clamoring to get queer rights recognized.

    Go to a local community college and take history/sociology course, pleb. Lest you speak and rubbish fall out of it.

    Oops too late.

  15. Patric says

    “Because Islam is mercilessly violent.” No, bigots and brutal despots who use Islam to advance their own hateful aims are mercilessly violent and they are exactly whom we should denigrate. Do the Crusades or Maggie Gallagher or the Pope prove that Christianity is mercilessly violent or bigoted? I suspect you’d say that they in fact only prove that the individuals involved are mercilessly violent or bigoted.

    “And if rights are won in the West despite Christianity, then why can’t they be won in Islamic countries despite Islam?” If you’d read my post above, you’d already know my answer. Our governmental structures in the West have limited the influence of organized religion in governance and allowed for the flourishing of thought and expression counter to Church teachings and, as a result in fact, have forced a moderation of certain Church teachings over time (such as in the case of interracial marriage) which would not have occurred had orthodoxy been imposed in our societies. If freedom of thought, expression and religion are ever truly allowed in these countries, it will be the death knell of the extremist and heinous brand of Islam to which you are objecting (and to which millions of Muslims in countries like Iran and elsewhere are also objecting).

  16. Tre says

    Interesting and VERY telling – Islamist extremists and Republicans conspiring together…. strange bedfellows indeed. Or perhaps not!

  17. Chunks says

    “Because Max, Christian countries tend to be richer (why? I wonder if it has anything to do with centuries of Colonialism) and let’s be frank, homo-social subcultures thrive in regions of economic stability.” Ah yes, that would explain why the Emirates and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are such gay party places. Pull your heads out of your holes and wake up. There may be plenty of nice Muslims but there is no nice Islam. Just ask the first Middle East lesbian conference, which had to be held in…. Israel. Gee, wonder why?

  18. harpy says

    Patric was far more erudite in his explanation.

    The Gulf states you mentioned may be rich GDP-wise but that income is not evenly distributed throughout the population. Take a walk through the streets of Dammam, Khobar or Rastanura in Saudia Arabia (as I have) and you will see examples of poverty that plague Saudi citizens.

    Even if these countries do posses money, one encounters an undemocratic political structure- ramifications of which Patric has described above.

    As for your comment about Muslims being nice but Islam being violent- it’s ridiculous. Tantamount to that loathsome adage, “I hate homosexuality, not homosexuals”. Muslims are Islam- whether they are observant or lax in their belief. (Additionally, One can be an ardent believer in Islam- arguably any religion, and still be a liberal-progressive individual who believes in the value of equity). This is an issue I must repeatedly encounter, over and over again. There are queers of faith. There are Catholic, Evangelical, Hasidic, Muslim queers and it is tiring to hear this pathetic diatribe against faith. I’m sorry, and sincerely sorry, that queers are brutalized by churches, mosques and temples. But you should know that many queers of faith continue their lives and cherish their sexualities because OF their faith not IN SPITE of it. Why are queers so willing to re-address the patriarchal institutions of society yet unwilling to re-address the patriarchal institutions present within tradition interpretations in faith? It simply cannot be intellectual limitations can it?

    And yet, instead of attempting to understanding the kernel of the issue (A power-powerless dynamic). Instead of going through the process of contextualization and critical analysis we would rather lump all of religion in one fell swoop and project injustice through one monolithic entity. Something that can be othered and therefore rejected. It is beneath the queer community to have an intellectually shallow explanation. It is beneath us because we understand the gray (or rainbow) of life. We have gone through the process of coming out of the heterosexual binary. We know that life is not as it is presented. How is it that we can accept the plurality of gender (one of the basic underpinnings of mainstream society) yet turn the other way when dealing plurality of race, ethnicity or any other variable?

    Lumping Islam (or any religion or classification) into one neat category of saint or demon does not do justice to your intellect. And we, more than any other historical group, should know that.

  19. TANK says

    Harpy, is it your contention above that muslim men don’t do horrible things gays and women because of their islamic faith? That’s…not even worth considering in an intelligent conversation.

    All I heard above though, harpy, is a sincere effort to eliminate responsibility for the actions of some islamic countries and muslims because of their faith. That’s about it…and it’s baby rambles. Of course NOT ALL muslims are antigay enemies of human flourishing…just as not all christians are…but all christians and all muslims are RESPONSIBLE for the consequences of their faith….which includes this, and the atrocities committed against gays and lesbians in islamic states.

  20. TANK says

    Another issue is that the apologists for faith seems to misunderstand the fundamental issues at stake, and the problem itself. This is first and foremost a religious problem, as affluent well educated muslims and christians hold despicable beliefs and engage in despicable behaviors because of their beliefs…as well as the poor of faith.

  21. harpy says

    I have made my argument and I do understand your perspective. I however reject it because it proves itself to be intellectually unsatisfactory. The presence of Queer Muslims or queer believers in general provides the adequate examples of how islam (or verily any religion) is compatible with queer sexualities. It is a process that does require quite a bit of critical thought and personal evaluation, but not an impossible one.

    It is easy to reduce the violence/discrimination in a simplistic mode of othering. Let us refuse to critically examine the underpinnings of islamic (again replace islam with any religion) traditional theology, because such scrutiny might show us our flaws. Let us refuse to recognize that traditional exegesis is an institution constructed for patriarchal purpose of creating a division of power holders and those denied the capacity to exercise power. Through an outright rejection one can further themselves from this violence. Critical questions, such as the issue of who holds power and do they want to share it, do not need to occur with these simple truths. Simple truths are how societies are created.

    Yes, religion as widely understood today, is a patriarchal institution. But pray tell, which one our institutions are not inspired by patriarchy? Remember this darlings, it is not faith that makes your neighbor hate you. His faith is an excuse, a justification to explain away the hate. The question to ponder upon is why does the hate exist and how it can be eliminated. (although that reeks of positivism and I’m far more Tao than that…lolz).

  22. TANK says

    “The presence of Queer Muslims or queer believers in general provides the adequate examples of how islam (or verily any religion) is compatible with queer sexualities.”

    That is not the point; there are only religious people who disagree with each other, and no right answer…it’s make believe. If it is your contention that religion doesn’t harm people, and specifically, that islamic faith doesn’t cause suffering and death to many people, then you are a making a false statement. Beliefs have consequences (indistinguishable from the behaviors that they cause), and not just the consequences you pick and choose. As such, queer muslims are complicit in the faith that they promote, defend and uphold–to women, lgbt’ers, and their fellow muslims who are harmed by members of their faith compelled to harm them because they disagree. To divorce religion from the the behaviors it causes is to divorce it from meaning, and amounts to the same old argument that guns don’t kill people, people kill people on the right…cameras don’t take pictures, pictures take pictures…false. It’s very simple…they are complicit. And that’s a tradeoff they’re willing to make, and even if one person were to die or suffer because of it, they’re unethical (preferencing faith above the wellbeing of people). And there is no greater good than minimizing the suffering of others while promoting their wellbeing that couldn’t be achieved without religion, and without its negative consequences.

    “It is easy to reduce the violence/discrimination in a simplistic mode of othering.”

    We’re talking about the ethical responsibility of religious faith here. Not other…”othering” would be defending it to eliminate that responsibility that believers have. And that responsibility is real. I mention it because the sooner people realize it and accept it, the sooner they’ll do something about it; act on that responsibility…as people usually do when they understand that they have an obligation to act…people usually want to be good.

    “Let us refuse to critically examine the underpinnings of islamic (again replace islam with any religion) traditional theology, because such scrutiny might show us our flaws. Let us refuse to recognize that traditional exegesis is an institution constructed for patriarchal purpose of creating a division of power holders and those denied the capacity to exercise power.”

    Now here if you’re suggesting that it’s not religion that causes the subjugation of women, and by implication, gay people…but the patriarchical attitudes and prescriptions contained explicitly in the texts that underly the faith, you are subtracting from abrahamic faiths content, and providing your own interpretation. You can continue to do this until you have no meaning at all…or just the meaning you want; but then again, you are just doing what every religious person does in picking and choosing what parts to believe and what not to believe; which interpretations to believe and which to ignore…and that just talks past the issue of the harm religious faith causes entirely.

    “Through an outright rejection one can further themselves from this violence.”

    Oh no, many muslims believe that women are their property…many christians, too. They ardantly believe that their god is the moral arbiter, and that gays are evil…and that evil things need to be destroyed (we all believe that evil things need to be destroyed–we differ on what particular things are evil…though we seem to understand that it’s needless suffering). And this motivates them to harm others for no good reason other than their baseless beliefs that are very important to them…very important irrational, unverifiable, and unfalsifiable beliefs.

    “Critical questions, such as the issue of who holds power and do they want to share it, do not need to occur with these simple truths. Simple truths are how societies are created.”

    Um, the marxian/foucaultian power dance you’re using here doesn’t address the reality of religious faith causing people to harm others…beliefs without which, they wouldn’t. Unless you’re suggesting some kind of “inevitability” or fate…historicism which we’re all powerless to do anything about. I don’t believe that…we can make a difference…we can prevent needless suffering. And it happens all of the time due to the choices we make.

    “Yes, religion as widely understood today, is a patriarchal institution.”

    Today, yesterday, and every day…

    “But pray tell, which one our institutions are not inspired by patriarchy? Remember this darlings, it is not faith that makes your neighbor hate you.”

    Oh but it is faith. It is sincere belief that god has pronuonced homosexuality an abomination, and that belief causes a great many people to act in accordance with the implication of that belief.

    “His faith is an excuse,”

    His faith is a REASON, a justification…a motivation for behavior. A causal motivation. It is not inevitable that he’d come up with something else to do the same thing in many cases if it weren’t for that faith…faith usually comes first for most people as they’re exposed to it from birth. Do you suppose suicide bombers would kill themselves and others without faith? If you do, you’re making a claim for which there is no evidence, and no good reason to believe it. The evil caused by religious faith is not inevitable; it’s very specific…as specific as the beliefs themselves. And beliefs, believe it or not, cause people to do things…just as sure as people avoid oncoming traffic because they BELIEVE it will harm them.

  23. JEREMY says

    HARPY–Madam–you are the worst armchair anthropologist I have ever seen in my entire life. Where to begin…

    “…let’s be frank, homo-social subcultures thrive in regions of economic stability.” Yes, dear, let’s be frank. The Philippines and Thailand are two of the gay-friendliest countries in the world, and have been for centuries. But the Philippines and Thailand are not “stable.” The Philippines is a nominally Catholic country, Thailand is Buddhist.

    Or when you said “economically stable,” did you mean post-industrial? Once again, let’s be frank. Many pre-industrial societies, from Native Americans to Polynesia, accepted LGBT people. Industrialization is not a prerequisite for acceptance.

    “Christian countries tend to be richer (why? I wonder if it has anything to do with centuries of Colonialism)…. Go to a local community college and take history/sociology course.”

    Take history/sociology course? Is that caveman speak? And I don’t think sociology means what you think it means. And most historians today will tell you that colonialism (lowercase, dear) was not the impetus behind Europe’s economic development; colonialism was costly to the colonizing powers, and those countries which held colonies developed no more rapidly than those that did not.

    Harpy, since Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Iranians have executed at least 4,000 LGBT people–including teenagers. These people were not executed because of economic instability. They were executed because Iran is now an Islamic Republic. They were executed because of Islam.

    “…it is tiring to hear this pathetic diatribe against faith.”

    You know what I find tiring, Harpy? The fact that some gay people continue to defend belief systems which advocate the extermination of LBGT people.

  24. Daniel says

    it is interesting that the gulf country Oman didn’t seem to vote or abstain in that ballot. The sultan of oman, reigning for about 39 years now, is gay and therefore has no heir, which the Wabbahists of the region know very well. Anyone who wants to see how a shield of secrecy surrounds gay muslim life in a muslim country need just look towards Oman and its leader!

  25. homoDM says

    It is useless to speculate that some religions are “better” or “worse” than others. The actions taken under the name of a faith belong to the individual or group actors, not the faith itself.

    That said, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, what have you; all religions that compel belief in, and obedience to, an invisible yet omnipresent spirit/being are toxic to rational thought.

  26. says

    “such principles could be used to subject religious leaders, who condemn homosexual behavior, to be persecuted.”

    It’s the age-old argument of the schoolyard sociopath: if you try to keep him from bullying you, he screams that you’re bullying him.

  27. Dave says

    The GOP is America’s Taliban. Anybody who could vote for that party today after just their recent history should have their head examined.

  28. Patric says

    Thank you for appreciating my perspective, David and Harpy. It’s nice to be reassured, especially in a community of outsiders, that we’re not all a bunch of Cheney-like neo-cons who think that the best path forward is setting up a battle of Christianity vs. Islam. Personally, if that’s the choice, I choose neither.

  29. TANK says

    “It is useless to speculate that some religions are “better” or “worse” than others.”

    No, actually it’s an empirical question, and can be measured. And it’s useful to know which beliefs one shouldn’t subscribe to because they’re harmful.

    “The actions taken under the name of a faith belong to the individual or group actors, not the faith itself.”

    The faith itself is just the individual group of actors who subscribe to it. Faith doesn’t exist in some mystical museum in which it never causally interacts with the world…

  30. TANK says

    Good for you, patric. Just know that what you choose to do is just as ethically important as what you choose to do. So you can sit on the sidelines and refuse to get involved in criticizing toxic faith and superstition, and get involved in the political aspect to try to change the situation (it’s islam vs. christianity because of muslims and christians, btw)–but you’re complicit in enabling it to go unquestioned…and that’s the road to moral degeneracy. To ignore a problem and “be above the fray” is to sanction it.

  31. TANK says

    as what you choose not to do, rather. Omission is equal to commission in big boy ethics.

  32. Jerry12 says

    Trying to decide which religion is better or worse than another is like comparing venomous snake bites: It really does not matter because, in the end, you are just as dead. All religions exist only because of one fundamental fact:They each preach and promote hatred and condemnation of one or more basic human group activities or identities. Without hatred of other groups of people, religions have no reason to exist.

  33. rick says

    Smith is definitely a douchebag. Several years ago there was an action to have all congressmen sign statements that they would accept openly gay staffers.

    smith refused. when I asked him if that was discrimination, he replied “if that’s what you want to call it.”

  34. just_a_guy says

    Did I say you ‘roadies are way too engaging. I need to quit you for a bit.

    Out.