Countries Reject Declaration of Homosexual Rights at OSCE
|The Interpreter: Lowy Institute for International Policy|
Written by Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
ISTANBUL, July 19 (C-FAM) Homosexual groups were dealt a humiliating blow at the end of last month by the world’s largest regional security organization.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) shot down a resolution recognizing a controversial declaration on homosexuality by a vote of 24 to 3. Even countries that are usually friendly to homosexual groups deserted them.
The non-binding declaration, known as the Yogyakarta Principles, declares comprehensive special new rights for individuals who identify as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). The 29 principles were prepared in 2006 by activists, academics and former unelected officials of international bodies.
Proponents insist the principles are authoritative interpretations of existing international law, and have asked international organizations to endorse them. They have had varying success, mostly with unelected officials. Getting the OSCE on board would have been a significant victory for homosexual groups and their international friends because representatives at OSCE meetings tend to be elected officials.
Belgium was confident the resolution could pass. The Council of Europe, with almost the same countries as the OSCE, recognized some of the principles in a 2010 resolution. But the initiative turned into a nightmare when even countries that usually side for LGBT rights refused to support it. Chief among its opponents, and surprisingly to many, was the United States.
Only three of the twelve original co-sponsors of the resolution maintained their support after the resolution was discussed. When it came up for debate, the atmosphere in the room suddenly became tense.