Eighty-five countries, including the US, signed on to a statement to the UN decrying violence against LGBT people:
The statement expresses "concern at continued evidence in every region of acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity" and calls on countries "to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
It's probably not going to be enforced in any way or do anything more than "just words" (I love that speech now - yes, when you say you're going to close Guantanamo and end abuses of executive power that violate human rights and then don't do that, those were "just words"), but it's something.
Notice too that the only things that are decried in that statement are "violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations." It's clearly not saying that LGBT people should be treated equally nor it is saying much about how much freedom and well-being we should have above and beyond basic, legalistic human rights.
It's not much, but it that's probably how vague it had to be to get the US and other countries to sign on to it.
"When [homophobes] express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatized, and worse -- they are vilified, and prosecuted," Tomasi said on Tuesday.
"The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances."
What acts? Where are the gulags that are being set up for people who oppose antidiscrimination legislation or queer homeless shelters? Where are the prisons filled with people who said they never wanted to have anal sex? Jeez, we even let the Westboro Baptist Church protest with vulgar, anti-gay signs at military funerals in this country; I don't know how much more latitude they can be allowed.
But then the Vatican went off the deep end:
In his statement, Tomasi said the Vatican "condemn(ed) all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts, or sexual behaviors." The Vatican also rejects all legal discrimination "based just on the person's feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings."
But the Vatican envoy said that there is an international "consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviors must be forbidden by law," citing pedophilia and incest as examples.
Cough. Cough cough. Cough cough cough cough cough cough cough. Cough cough........ cough.
Excuse me, some water went down the wrong way there. Probably because I was imagining how terrible it would be if there were some nation-state that wasn't part of the consensus that child molestation was forbidden by law.
The Vatican actually does take decent human rights stands (opposition to capital punishment, nuclear weapons, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example) and I don't think that the US is a much better authority than they are. Human rights principles decided on by committee should look like this: the best aspirations of nations helping certain nations to overcome their short-comings instead of everyone going it alone.