US Votes with Iran Concerning LGBT Groups
Strange bedfellows indeed. Yahoo News reports that the United States recently voted in favor of an Iranian initiative to deny UN consultative status to organizations working to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT).
In May, 2005, two LGBT organizations – the International Gay and Lesbian Association and the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians – applied for consultative status with the UN’s Social and Economic Council. Such status is the sole official means through which NGOs can participate in discussions at the UN between member states. Some 3000 groups enjoy consultative status. Led by
The vote represents a complete reversal of
Why did the
Edgar Vasquez , a State Department spokesman, said Friday: "The
continues to implement a law requiring certification by the United Nations to prohibit funding of NGOs that condone pedophilia. The United States as a policy matter remains concerned about support for pedophilia, and we believe that ILGA must establish a verifiable process" to ensure that neither it nor its member organizations promote or condone pedophilia. United States
When questioned by a reporter from the
Blade, Vasquez admitted the Washington opposed ILGA's application because it once included the North American Man Boy Love Association as a member. United States
That group aims to legalize sexual relations between adults and minors; ILGA expelled it in 1994.
"In this case, we did not vote against the group because it was a gay rights group, but because of its past association with a group condoning pedophilia," said Vasquez, referring to ILGA.
Vasquez claimed he did not know why the
voted against the Danish group's application. United States
Vazquez also didn’t explain the
The representative of the
, who said his government had sought the earlier suspension of the organization because of the pedophilia issue, said he had not seen any proof that the organization now condoned pedophilia. On the contrary, he saw evidence that the NGO was saving lives in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. United States