Friday, January 27, 2006

When the United States is in bed with tyrants

The United States finds itself in an unusual position, or perhaps not. In a recent New York Times article, "Rights Groups Fault U.S. Vote in U.N. on Gays" (January 7, 2006), the United States has backed a measure that was introduced by Iran to prevent two gay rights groups a voice at the United Nations. Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe also sided with Iran and the United States.
On the one hand, we condemn these countries for their human rights abuses, yet, when it suits our "morality" or perceived morality, we agree with them. So what is the lesson here? Are gays inhuman? Do they not deserve a voice in the United Nations?
Ironically, the United States grants "persecuted homosexuals" asylum under the category of "membership in a particular social group", yet, homosexuals in the United States are treated as second class citizens. Granted, they might not be tortured or killed by the U.S., government, but they can't serve in their military (at least as openly gay soldiers), they cannot get married in most states, they do not have protection from discrimination in employment, housing or many of the other day-to-day things that hetersexuals take for granted.

The United States is supposed to be the leader of the "free world". Aren't we supposed to be setting an example of civil and political rights? By continually ignoring and deliberately undermining the rights of a minority -- homosexuals -- the United States is not only undermining the human dignity of a group of people, but it is undermining the human dignity of a nation.


W said...

Oh please…….you’ve got to be kidding me! So now you advocate special groups being represented in the UN. Let me know when left-handed people are given a voice in the United Nations, or perhaps those of us who are bald, or those who have outie belly buttons. Don’t you think that human rights for all individuals are already given a voice in the UN? Human rights are recognized as fundamental by the UN and as I recall are actually mentioned in the Charter of the United Nations. So why redo what has already been done? Another case of gays looking for special rights!

Dr. D said...

Gays are not asking for special rights at the UN -- nearly 3,000 Non-governmental organizations already have what is called "consultative status" (NYT, "Rights Groups Fault U.S. Vote in U.N. on Gays", 27 January 2006). Gays are just asking for equal rights!
Dr. D.