The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Turtle Bay

Administration to Support U.N. Declaration Decriminalizing Homosexuality

By Colum Lynch
NEW YORK --The Obama administration announced today that it will endorse a French-sponsored U.N. General Assembly declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, reversing a decision by the Bush administration last December to withhold U.S. support.

In announcing U.S. support, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the U.N. declaration is consistent with the U.S. commitment to being an outspoken defender of human rights. The United States "is pleased to join the other 66 U.N. members states who have declared their support of the statement that condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity wherever the occur," Wood said.

The Obama administration's decision was the latest signal of a sharp break with with the Bush administration over the promotion of conservative social initiatives at the United Nations. Over the past eight years, the Bush administration had sided with Islamic governments and conservative Catholic countries on a range of social issues, from the rights of gays and women to the importance of banning stem cell research.

The December 18 U.N. General Assembly declaration, which is not legally binding, condemns rights abuses against gays and urges states to pass laws to ensure that "sexual orientation or gender identity" can "not be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention."

Human rights groups report that homosexuality is still outlawed by more than 85 countries and that it is punishable by death in several Islamic states, including Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen.

The gender and sexual orientation discrimination declaration was sharply criticized by Islamic countries, which assert that it would promote sexual behavior that is considered socially unacceptable. The Vatican also denounced the declaration.

The Bush administration said it opposed discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation but refused to sign the declaration in December, citing concerns that it would interfere with states rights to legislate on matters involving discrimination.

U.S. officials decided to reverse that decision following an interagency review of the policy. They concluded that the declaration does not create any new legal obligations on the United States, and doesn't have any affect on existing U.S. laws.

The decision places the United States squarely behind liberal Western democracies, including the 27 members of the European Union, on an important cultural matter. And it follows a previous decision by the United States to release millions of dollars of funding for U.N. programs that allow family planning.

As a courtesy, the U.S. mission to the United Nations informed the French mission Tuesday that it would support the French text. "We are absolutely delighted," said Stephane Crouzat, a spokesman for the French mission to the United Nations. "We are very pleased that the United States has decided to join the declaration."

Posted at 2:20 PM ET on Mar 18, 2009  | Category:  Turtle Bay
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Those that don't understand the seperation of church and state provided by our brilliant(and liberal) for fathers need to read the declaration of independence as well as the constitution which the christian right is trying so hard to change.

I am proud that our government has acknowledged and signed the U.N.declaration decriminilizing homosexuality. I am proud that I am American and I am proud that I am gay. I am proud that I am a christian and that my church accepts my partner and me for who we are in our lives and our community.

Those folks who would continue to discriminate against gay folks should be ashamed of themselves.

Perhaps those folks should do something more constructive with their lives and direct their negative and discrimanatory selves into a more positive direction.

Like it or not we are all Gods children.

By the way, if we catch you eating shellfish be careful, the bible says we can stone you. I don't believe we would. Yet the government had to create laws to protect us from harm, protect us in our workplace, protect us in our homes.

While you folks enjoy the benefits the government provides with tax benefits, employee spousal benefits - health benefits,the right to be with your spouse when in the hospital, and why should not a surviving partner receive social security the same way heterosexual partners do, on and on.

What makes you folks think you are more special than gay people? Get real!

R. Johns

Posted by: randal_johns | March 18, 2009 9:04 PM

Human rights are simply that human rights.

There was a time in American history when people of different races could not marry.

There was a time when women were not allowed to vote.

There was a time when mentally ill people were presumed to be witches or possessed by demons.

It's nice to know that this administration knows compassion instead of bigotry.

You want to live in a place where homosexuality is illegal?

Move to Iran........

Posted by: abby0802 | March 18, 2009 7:41 PM

TO: Garak
FROM: Scrivener50


Please see post below:


TO: All intel analysts/agents/operatives [EYES ONLY]

RE: "Target" surveillance/profiling

For cautionary example of what unrepentant dissidents term "lame psy ops," you are directed to recent entries in "comments" section of internet "blog" "articles" linked below.

When analyzing said humint responses to "target" postings, reference this exigent statement of inquiry:

Is this statecraft?

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 18, 2009 7:23 PM

The Pope doesn't want condoms used in Africa to stop the spread of AIDs...The French condemn the Pope's position....The French say don't prosecute homosexuals with or without AIDs....The US Supports the French position....Where does the Pope come down on this one???....Probably says, If you're a homosexual and use a condom, it is still a crime.....wannabet???...If you're just a homosexual, then what????....The Pope calls you a Priest.

Posted by: benighse | March 18, 2009 6:34 PM

There is a difference between decriminalizing something and approving of something. Apparently Bush thought that such a differentiation was beyond the capacity of his intolerant constituency. From my limited dealings with them, they are overly confident of their ability to understand G-d's intentions.. They feel that they must deal with transgressions of G-D's word themselves. They lack faith in G-D's ability to deal with the problem or because of their religious arrogance. They feel that to G-d, homosexual acts are more important than to love thy neighbor. To me they have a queer way of looking at things but I still do not think we should criminalize them.

Posted by: Gator-ron | March 18, 2009 6:22 PM

The 19 hijackers who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11 agree with Bush and the right: No tolerating gays.

Posted by: Garak | March 18, 2009 5:26 PM

Is scrivner50 off his meds?

Posted by: Garak | March 18, 2009 5:18 PM

The individuals in communities should determine their laws. If a society deems something is not wanted, it is their right to denounce the action. Now, I'm not a Christian, Muslim or Jew but I can read and according to the Bible, Koran and Torah (if it is actually the word of God) these three books all flatly state that homosexuality is wrong and can not be tolerated. We are now at a point all three of the religions laws are directly at odds with the laws of men.

Do you think that this could be the topic that finally helps us rid the world of these three dastardly, warmongering and dirty shirt wearing institutions?

Yup I said dastardly!!

Posted by: epremus | March 18, 2009 4:15 PM

Why should we want the UN to dictate our laws in this country?

Posted by: BubbaRight | March 18, 2009 4:05 PM

URGENT TO: Atty. Gen Eric Holder (staff, please forward)

RE: Ongoing, nationwide, federally-enabled vigilante "community gang stalking"

Mr. Holder:

The innocent but apparently "targeted" U.S. citizen who authored the articles linked below cannot leave his home without being relentlessly stalked, tailgated, menaced and harassed by organized community stalkers, equipped with networked GPS tracking devices apparently keyed to his vehicle and cellphone.

Many of these vigilante stalkers appear to be affiliated with federally-funded community watch groups and public safety units such as fire and police departments, and drive publicly-owned or subsidized vehicles.

When he does leave the house empty, there often are signs of surreptitious entry and vandalism when he returns.

The author also maintains that he is subject to the effects of so-called "directed energy" weapons and devices which have been deployed nationwide under a DOJ program.

Local and federal authorities have said they see "nothing to investigate." The author believes that is because they have extensive knowledge of this vigilante activity, and choose to let it happen.

Mr. Holder, an American Gestapo is denying untold thousands of Americans nationwide their civil and human rights. The rule of law appears to have broken down in communities nationwide, including where I live in Bucks County, PA.

Please restore civil liberties in America by taking immediate action to dismantle the officially-funded and countenanced "extrajudicial targeting and punishment network" that appears to be an outgrowth of federal programs known to your staff.

The links:

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 18, 2009 2:50 PM

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