Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama Backs Global Gay Rights


President Obama Administration will sign the US up to a United Nations declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality, AP reports.

This is a straight reversal of then-President George W. Bush’s refusal to endorse the idea when it was proposed by the French Government last December.

Until now the US was the only hold-out among Western Democratic nations – all EU nations back the declaration along with more than 30 other countries.

But 70 U.N. members currently outlaw homosexuality — and in several of them, including Iran, homosexual acts can be punished by execution. More than 50 nations, opposed the declaration including the Vatican. Members of the Islamic conference argued that legalization of “deplorable acts” could lead to paedophilia and incest.

This decision by the Obama Administration isn’t only significant for gay rights, it also marks a change of approach to participating in multilateral initiatives.
The Bush Administration was often preferred to go it alone and stay out of international conventions. A recent poll showed that a substantial minority of Americans still favour pulling out of the UN.