Michael Crawford

Breaking News: U.S. to Sign U.N. Gay Rights Declaration

Filed By Michael Crawford | March 17, 2009 10:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: international LGBT rights, Obama and LGBT rights, U.N. gay rights declaration

This just came over the AP wire service:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Associated Press has learned that the Obama administration will sign a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality that President George W. Bush had refused to endorse.

U.S. officials said Tuesday they had notified the French sponsors of the declaration that the administration wants to be added as a supporter of the declaration. The Bush administration was criticized in December when it was the only Western government that refused to sign.

The officials said the administration had decided to sign the declaration to demonstrate that the United States supports human rights for all around the world.

This marks a clear break with the anti-gay policies and attitudes of the Bush administration and is a welcomed sign of President Obama's support for equal rights for LGBT people.

H/T: UK Gay News

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it is about time. GWB absolutely disgraced our Nation. Aren't we supposed to be the icon of democracy and freedom?

David in Houston | March 17, 2009 10:59 PM

This is very good news. This is also the 1,000th shitty thing that George Bush did to the citizens of our country. What a pathetic human being.

No big deal really, we all know what a jerk shrub was, and at the end of the day, whether we sign or not, it will make no difference at all in places like Iran and the middle east where the worst of the persecution happens.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 17, 2009 11:14 PM

It may not mean much to you, but it is a clear break with the homophobic Bush administration and puts the U.S. on record as opposing the criminalization of homosexuality.

Yeah, there's lots of work to be done, but this is a start.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 17, 2009 11:46 PM

Domestic United States Federal Laws and International agreements/sanctions will provide a wonderful framework for decriminalization on paper, but implementation in China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore etc. will be problematic as it is another culture.

The Obama administration's willingness to do this unprecedented and does represent a great deal of progress in terms of what can be achieved domestically.

legislation is not particiption, but it is a start. we should all remember that DADT was supposed to be progress, too, but it didn't turn out that way.

It's about time! BHO is an "all deliberate speed" kind of guy. He also has priorities, and we aren't on top of that list of priorities. But at least we're on that list.

"All deliberate speed" is not something that does no harm, and is only a little better than doing nothing. But it motivates me to keep on pushing.

Wilson46201 | March 18, 2009 9:53 AM

Elections have consequences!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 18, 2009 1:49 PM

Nice, good even, but this exercise is really just a way to impress gullible people who are grasping at straws to come up with something, anything, that'll undercut the truth about Obama.

The truth is that he pandered to bigots from day one and continues to do so. He torpedoed our chances on Prop 8 and rewarded cult bigot Warren at the Inaugural. He's chosen a 'spiritual advisory council' from the worst bigots in the country and he's hiring prayer writers not just speech writers. We have to wonder if the White House budget includes séances table and Ouija boards. Obama appointed his Minister of Pandering, the most reverend Joshua Dubois to head up his Ministry of Bribery, aka, doling out billions to grubby sky pilots, pastors and priests via 'faith based' charities. Dubois is a pentecostal minister like Leah Daughtry who enforces anti-GLBT policy at the DNC.

This was an easy maneuver for Obama. If he wanted to do something real for us in international relations there are two easy steps he could take immediately.

He could go all out to tell refugees from places like Uganda and Iran that murder GLBT folks that they’d be welcomed with open arms in the US. He should order Hillary Clinton to open the gates of all US embassies and consulates to people in danger of being tortured and murdered.

He could permanently break diplomatic relations with the catholic cult at the Vatican. They’re bigots, they actually murder people when they oppose the use of condoms to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS and the pope is a Nazi.

But don't hold you breathe.

A. J. Lopp | March 18, 2009 3:10 PM

It is indeed refreshing to finally have a President (and hopefully a Vice President) who acknowledges that the US Constitution not only defines the actual human rights of the US citizenry, but also the ideal of universal human rights throughout the world.

Bush-Cheney obviously didn't feel this way, but instead instituted torture, illegal surveillance, drug their feet on recognizing genocide in Darfur ... and insisted that a "mistake" made by the US Supreme Court should not extend to GLBT people globally.

Hopefully when Obama's history is written, the human rights principles claimed at the top of the page will match the actions taken at the bottom of the page.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 18, 2009 4:01 PM

”Bush-Cheney obviously didn't feel this way, but instead instituted torture, illegal surveillance…”

This is just a little window dressing for an administration moving further and faster to the right than either Carter or Clinton. He's just moving Gitmo prisoners. He endorses the use of rendition (kidnap/murder in street cop lingo) and torture as long as it's done off US bases and leased out to mercenary ‘allies’ like Egypt or Turkey. He endorsed domestic spying by disallowing lawsuits against internal telephone and internet snooping.

He’s an anti-GLBT bigot who's murdering civilians for oil in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran (soon), Afghanistan and Pakistan while he doles out trillions to the looter rich and a pittance to the 4 million workers who lost their jobs in the last few months.

” Hopefully when Obama's history is written, the human rights principles claimed at the top of the page will match the actions taken at the bottom of the page. Don’t hold your breath.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 18, 2009 4:52 PM

From NPR news (thanks to Lurleen at Pam’s).

“The United States supports the U.N.'s statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity and is pleased to join the other 66 U.N. member states who have declared their support of the statement," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.”

… the Bush team had concerns that those sections could commit the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In some states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.

But Wood said a "careful interagency review" by the Obama administration had concluded that "supporting this statement commits us to no legal obligations. ."

Heaven forefend.