Obama Signs U.N. Statement Decriminalizing Homosexuality

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Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 11:41 am

You wouldn’t think it would be news that the president of the United States went along with 66 other nations to sign a statement declaring that homosexuality should not be a crime. But after eight years of President George W. Bush, you can’t take anything for granted. So President Obama’s two-sentence sign-on to the United Nations resolution decriminalizing homosexuality yesterday was indeed worthy of notice.

In fact, Bush had refused to sign exactly that statement in the past, saying that the federal government could not sign a statement that would bind the United States on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. Never mind that the federal government has legislated in all sorts of other areas of civil rights, such as race, gender and age discrimination.

In refusing to sign the statement, reports JURIST, the United States was in some unusual company: China, Russia, members of the Islamic Conference, and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Obama administration’s decision to change course and sign the statement is at least symbolically important, as gay rights remain a contentious issue around the world.  As JURIST notes, in November, the parliament of Burundi criminalized homosexuality, while the Supreme Court of Nepal approved same-sex marriages. In October, the Portuguese parliament voted against legalizing same-sex marriage. In the United States, same-sex marriages are now legal only in Massachusetts and Connecticut, though this week the Vermont legislature began debating a bill that would legalize it. In November, same-sex marriage bans passed in California, Arizona, and Florida.

For Obama, signing the U.N. statement is just the beginning. He’ll have to deal with a host of other issues related to sexual orientation, including the military’s antiquated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; the federal government’s refusal to pay employment benefits for the same-sex partners of federal employees (which Obama has said he supports, but requires repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act); and an immigration law that denies access to the United States for foreign same-sex partners of U.S. citizens.

Comments

12 Comments

boarderthom
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 9:52 am

Compare and contrast; one of my high school english teachers drilled that into my head.?Compare and contrast: Slave rights and gay rights; the contrasts are easy, the comparisons are profound. Slaves could not get legally married either. They could not create and sign contracts, and what is marriage mostly (legally speaking) but a huge contract with thousands of rights and responsibilities.?Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke there last year saying, “That just like apartheid laws that criminalized sexual relations between different races, laws against homosexuality are increasingly becoming recognized as anachronistic and inconsistent both with international law and with traditional values of dignity, inclusion, and respect for all.”?Apartheid: A system of laws applied to one category of citizens in order to isolate them and keep them from having privileges and opportunities given to all others.?Stop gay apartheid.


Alicia dwinnell
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 9:53 am

i think all people should have the right to be gay its common and because you goverment people discrimating gays for who there are i think the law that permmits gay marriage should be passed.


MickeyC
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 9:55 am

Good for him! He's starting to keep the promises he made when he was running for office. Maybe now we can drive those who hate everyone out of business.


John
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 10:59 am

This is one of those steps to help beat back the conservative attempts to create a theocracy in America. There IS no perfect President, but finally having one that is reflective and intelligent is a wonderful change of pace!


A Feather Adrift
Pingback posted March 19, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

[...] are also pleased to see that President Barack Obama has signed a UN statement decriminalizing homosexuality. The Washington Independent reports that in doing so, he joins 66 other [...]


loveyourdesign » Blog Archive » What’s Arising from the Collective Base Chakra?
Pingback posted March 19, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

[...] all this focus on gay marriage is having on those who believe homosexuality is evil.  And today Obama signed the Gay Rights Declaration.  What could this be stirring within the till now submerged depths of the collective Base [...]


What’s Arising from the Collective Base Chakra? » AstroDispatch.com » Astrology Around The Web
Pingback posted March 19, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

[...] all this focus on gay marriage is having on those who believe homosexuality is evil.  And today Obama signed the Gay Rights Declaration.  What could this be stirring within the till now submerged depths of the collective Base [...]


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wffgrgrf
Comment posted March 24, 2009 @ 10:26 am

The Holy Bible / ROMANS states all of this right in the beggining. It is not right in GODs to have same sex relationships. It is quite explicit.


Dan
Comment posted March 24, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

Let's follow this train of thought for a moment. Criminalize Homosexuality. Once accomplished, criminalize Protestant religions, subsequently the Catholics can again burn Protestants alive at the stake. Are we sure we want to mix all this up in the same pot? I mean once we've taken moral issues into legalism, then whoever's religion comes out on top gets to kill off the other religions, right?


Tabetha
Comment posted April 18, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

If you are curious about homosexuality
just say out loud now Jesus I believe and
I receive you in my heart please help me
I also know a great site you can go to
at leroyjenkins.com


Tabetha
Comment posted April 18, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

If you are curious about homosexuality
just say out loud now Jesus I believe and
I receive you in my heart please help me
I also know a great site you can go to
at leroyjenkins.com


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