Liberty and freedom for all—just not the gays. The United States becomes the lone major western nation to refuse to sign an historic United Nations declaration that affirms gay rights and seeks to decriminalize homosexuality.
The unprecedented declaration won the support of 66 countries in the United Nations General Assembly. The United States—represented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, seen above—"refused to support the non-binding measure, as did Russia, China, the Roman Catholic Church and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Holy See’s observer mission issued a statement saying that the declaration “challenges existing human rights norms."
The declaration, sponsored by France with broad support in Europe and Latin America, condemned human rights violations based on homophobia, saying such measures run counter to the universal declaration of human rights.
“How can we tolerate the fact that people are stoned, hanged, decapitated and tortured only because of their sexual orientation?” said Rama Yade, the French state secretary for human rights, noting that homosexuality is banned in nearly 80 countries and subject to the death penalty in at least six.
The United States delegation could not sign the declaration for a very simple reason: There are currently no federal protections for gays, lesbians and transgenders. Same sex marriage is legal only in two states, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In more than half of the states, employers and landlords are free to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Add this to the growing list of reasons why we need to pass ENDA and federal hate crime protections.
Our neighbors to the north and south—Canada and Mexico—signed this declaration. It's a sad day when the world's largest democracy chooses sides with rabidly, anti-gay human rights violators—such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia—who claimed the resolution threatened to "normalize" pedophilia and other "deplorable acts. Shameful