LGBT Activist Raises Red Flag Over UN Group’s ‘Traditional Values’

UndoveIn response to the UN Human Rights Council's September decision to fight for "tradition values of humankind," Graeme Reid, director of LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, took to CNN's op-ed page to raise a red flag against the Russia-led resolution.

The U.N. Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution on “traditional values of humankind” as a vehicle for “promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.” It sounds innocuous, but its implications are ominous. Indeed, it is an immediate threat to the rights of many vulnerable groups – including women and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people. And it flies in the face of the founding principles of universality and indivisibility enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is the third Russian-sponsored traditional values resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council. The second, in 2011, called for a study, and the resulting draft study is highly critical of “traditional values” as a framework, criticizing the concept as “vague, subjective and unclear.” The third, though, adopted on September 27, affirms traditional values as a valid framework for human rights.
Underpinning this is an argument that homosexuality is a moral issue and not a rights issue at all.

A pernicious development is the recent proliferation of laws in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that seek to curtain freedom of speech by clamping down on “homosexual propaganda” under the pretext of “protecting children.” These laws are vaguely defined and have the effect of outlawing any supportive messages or activism around LGBT issues.


  1. Icebloo says

    Russia should not have any link to the EU. The EU is way ahead on Human Rights while Russia continues to go backwards.

    The problem is WEAK WEAK WEAK western politicians are too afraid to stand up to Russia. We need to kick out all the weak politicians/political parties.

  2. MaddM@ says

    this isn’t the EU, it’s the UN, and there are many countries that would really like “traditional values” to be upheld regarding civil rights (liek the traditional value to throw acid in the faces of women that try to escape from abusive households)

    “traditional values” are probably the biggest barrier to human rights, honestly

  3. steve says

    Russia and the ex-USSR countries on Europe’s eastern borders have governments backed by Orthodox church support. There’s always a price to pay! Russia has gas and oil wealth, and its kleptocratic ruling classes again rely on Orthodox support to keep in power. While the West has governments of millionaires in thrall to global finance and in recession, the West will continue to act with all the morality of a crack-addicted whore. Human rights are easy to give away, especially when they’re not in your own country.

  4. Diogenes Arktos says

    As always, when I hear “traditional values”, I ask “whose?” and shudder at the possible responses. At least the study said that the concept was “vague, subjective and unclear”. I really like that description.

    Whenever I hear a discussion about “Values Voters”, I point out that I also have values and I vote, but I’m definitely not a “Values Voter”. (Just like the Moral Majority was neither.) Some values we share by name, but, obviously, profoundly differ on implementation. e.g. the “traditional values” (at least in the US) of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I hope posters here can all agree that, appropriately applied, these “traditional values” do promote human rights.

    I have a Russian Orthodox friend (to whom I’m not out) who preaches “traditional values”, especially denying even a hint of LGBT friendliness. I laugh inwardly because she is twice divorced. She has no cognitive dissonance, however, because her synod allows three divorces per person. She cannot accept the idea that this canon is a very recent update to her “unchanging” “traditional values”. (sigh)

  5. Bill Michael says

    The United Nations is another pig vying for a slurp from the trough of power. Just wait until they get their worldwide “carbon tax” in place so they can generate streams of revenue.

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