A historic (nonbinding) step forward

It’s now confirmed that PresidentObama will endorse the United Nations declaration calling for the worldwide
decriminalization of homosexuality that the dearly departed Chimperor
refused to sign in December.

There’s still no official announcement from the White House yet.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Congress was
still being notified of the decision. They said the administration had
decided to sign the declaration to demonstrate that the United States
supports human rights for all.

“The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and
critic of human rights abuses around the world,” said one official.

“As such, we join with the other supporters of this statement and we
will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the
human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora,” the
official said.

The official added that the United States was concerned about
“violence and human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, transsexual and
bisexual individuals” and was also “troubled by the criminalization of
sexual orientation in many countries.”

Interestingly, those countries that still practice state-sanctioned brutality against homosexuals offer a tiny glimmer of hope for the Freeperati, poor dears, following the announcement. Now, don’t worry, I’ve no intention of trespassing on Tommy’s beat here (plus I don’t have sufficient hazmat protection to venture too far in) but it’s ironicto see them grasping for encouragement in the fact that their usual swarthy heathen enemies are standing up for what’s right. (WARNING: Very graphic photographs at link)

Regarding the endorsement of the declaration, I acknowledge it’s historic, I acknowledge it’s progress, but my gut reaction is still an impatientHow much longer till we see the real stuff, the substantive hard and fast changes that secure GLBTQ civil rights? I know better, though. I know that for the most part real political and legal change moves glacially, in increments.

I am not sure how long it will take for marriage rights and other protections for GLBTQ families to become secure, but I do think chances are better than ever that we’re going to see the repeal ofDon’t Ask, Don’t Tell quite soon. AsFrank Rich notes

What has happened between 2001 and 2009 to so radically change the cultural climate? Here, at last, is one
piece of good news in our global economic meltdown: Americans have less
and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who
thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years. Culture wars are
a luxury the country — the G.O.P. included — can no longer afford.

Not only was Obama’s stem-cell decree an anticlimactic blip in the news, but so was his earlier reversal of Bush restrictions on the use of federal money by organizations offering abortions overseas. When the administration tardily ends “don’t ask, don’t tell,” you can bet that this action, too, will be greeted by more yawns than howls.

Talk about irony…

3 thoughts on “A historic (nonbinding) step forward

  1. So if you don’t like it, move to them A-rab countries.
    isn’t that what the freepers have been saying to answer everything else?
    Oddly, I am rather conservative theologically. And using traditional theology, the worse you could possibly come out with is that the ability of a homosexual to choose a heterosexual lifestyle is blocked. Therefore culpability is limited and the person so afflicted should be treated with compassion for a factor which is beyond their control. And that is the worse.
    On the more moderate side, homosexuality isn’t mentioned that much in the Bible, almost entirely in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the main citable mention is in Revelations 21; King James uses the word effeminate but also adulterers. A more modern translation (NIV) lumps the following together:
    8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
    So if you’re gonna stone the homosexual, you also need to stone the adulterer (Run John McCain, Run!)
    In short, what the Bible says isn’t the problem.

  2. Maple: In a historical context, the Abrahamic religions had three major reasons for squashing homosexuality. First was (originally by the Jews) to differentiate themselves culturally from their hated enemies the Hellenist Greeks (oddly, this prejudice is buried so deep in the Jewish consciousness, “helenista” is still an insult in Hebrew); secondly was to maximise the tribe’s size, and thirdly was to place sexual behaviour firmly in the area of clerical control, the better for the religious leaders to exercise their will over it.
    I don’t think it’s unfair to say that most of the revulsion worldwide over homosexuality stems from cultural baggage from the Abrahamic religions.

  3. Hi Interro,
    I agree with you that the sexual proclivities of the Greek temples were abhorrent to the Hebrews. Very likely associated with the Hellenic occupation. Also that several prescripts of the Mosaic code result in a very high birth rate (the Orthodox today folling them, in effect, gain a “rhythm method” that is the anti-birth control).
    But what I’m saying is that the rabid anti-homosexual actions of many fundamentalists can’t be supported as a matter of theology. A layer of culture superimposed on theology, yes. But not as a dogmatic statement of theology.

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