By Wendy Wright
NEW YORK, July 10 (C-Fam) Nigeria publicly chastised the UN human rights office for trampling on universally-agreed rights as it seeks to impose same sex marriage and outlaw commonly-held views on homosexuality. The sharp rebuke accused the UN officials of infringing on the right to democracy, religious freedom, and cultural standards that strengthen families.
The statement, delivered last week in Geneva, came in response to a report released last month by the UN human rights office. The report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity criticizes laws protecting children from LGBT propaganda and condemns therapy to help people with unwanted sexual attractions. Expressing negative views on homosexuality contributes to violence, the report claims.
The UN report, which governments are free to ignore but which will be used to pressure them, also tells countries to legalize same sex marriage or unions, and provide benefits.
The majority of countries define marriage as the union of a man and woman. Nigeria strengthened its law in 2014.
Nigeria rebuked the UN officials for disrespecting the democratic process and endangering universally-agreed human rights.
Religious freedom and cultural rights are “fundamental parts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Nigeria stated. Countries have a “duty to ensure the family values, the religious values and the cultural values of its citizens are protected,” which are “the bedrock of the moral values of the individual.”
Nigeria’s marriage law “is intended to uphold and strengthen these values.”
Nigeria has the largest population in Africa and the majority of its 170 million citizens are Christian or Muslim.
The law “synchronizes” Nigeria’s culture, traditions, and two main religions, all of which reject “unreservedly, same sex marriage, homosexuality, lesbianism, gay and transgender attitudes.”
The Nigerians also said gay rights and orientation “will limit population” and “impose unintended consequences on the family as an institution.”
The UN human rights office ramped up its campaign to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behavior in 2011, based on a Human Rights Council resolution expressing “grace concern” at violence and discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The recent report concedes “data are patchy” on homicides. Persons identified as LGBT may be targeted by terrorist groups, and are victims of honor killings.
But the UN report strays from acts of violence to lump in expressing religious beliefs and counseling. It “condemns” reparative therapy to help with unwanted homosexual attractions, and describes statements on homosexuality by Catholic leaders as contributing to stigma and violence against adolescents and children.
Legalizing same sex marriage is not required, the report concedes, yet goes on to tell countries to recognize same sex unions. Countries should run public education campaignson sexual orientation and repeal policies that impact rights to health, education, work, housing and social security – providing an opening for attacks on faith-based organizations and individuals that decline to participate or assist in homosexual activities.
The UN human rights office is currently mired in scandal and rumors of corruption. Its officials are accused of mishandling an investigation of French soldiers sexually abusing African boys. Staffers are rumored to be cozy with officials from governments seeking to influence decisions inside the UN office.
Nordic countries funded the UN office’s campaign for LGBT rights, even as the UN human rights chief pled for funding to do its basic work.
Privately African and other delegates express immense frustration at what they see as an obsession with LGBT issues by UN personnel and some governments.
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