U.S. getting closer to being civilized(?)

So yesterday the administration of President Barack Obama decided to bring the United States closer to being back into the fold with the other truly civilized nations by signing on to the United Nations’ decriminalization of homosexuality.

Reports AFP:

The United States [yesterday] announced its support for a United Nations declaration decriminalizing homosexuality, a move that had been rejected by former president George W. Bush [in December].

Washington will join 66 countries, including all the members of European Union, in backing the measure put forth by France in December, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.

“The United States supports the UN’s statements on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world,” Wood told reporters.

“As such, we join with other supporters of this statement, and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora,” he added.

But Wood stressed that U.S. support for the measure did not have legal consequences in the United States, an argument against the declaration made by the Bush administration.

“Supporting this statement commits us to no legal obligations,” he said.

The appeal is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article One that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

It reaffirms “that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Homosexuality is punishable by death in seven countries — Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The Vatican considers the declaration a legitimate effort to stop the crackdown on homosexuality. But it worries that condemning anti-gay discrimination and biases will favor gay marriage, gay adoption or artificial insemination.

So those so-called Americans who oppose the United Nations’ declaration that homosexuality must be decriminalized (in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) are in the same league with the fundamentalist Islamic (i.e., “Islamofascist”) nations, such as Iran, in which it’s OK to execute gay men and lesbians. (You can judge people by the company that they keep…)

Fact is, the Repugnicans and other assorted wingnuts just like to have at least one historically oppressed minority group to be able to kick around. It’s not so easy to kick around black people anymore, so the reason that the unelected Bush regime had opposed the United Nations’ declaration in December was to keep gay men’s and lesbians’ faces pressed firmly in the dirt.

However, the assertion by even the Obama administration that the United States of America should sign on to the UN declaration but that it doesn’t actually have to carry it out — such as by rescinding the unconstitutional, anti-human-rights “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military — demonstrates that the United States still has a long ways to go before it truly is in league with the truly civilized nations around the word.

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