Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 8, 2008
Vatican to oppose UN homosexual rights declaration
Only 50 countries have endorsed proposed UN statement
BY CAROL GLATZ
'Obviously nobody wants to defend the death penalty for homosexuals.'
- Fr. Federico Lombardi
France, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, plans to present the proposal on the 60th anniversary of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the hope that UN member states will make a nonbinding declaration to decriminalize homosexuality.
Migliore told I.Media Dec. 1 that adding these "new categories (to be) protected from discrimination" would create in turn "new and inflexible (forms of) discrimination."
Almost 80 countries have laws prohibiting homosexual activity and several nations include the death penalty as a form of punishment for such activity.
Lombardi said that "obviously nobody wants to defend the death penalty for homosexuals."
The Church supports fundamental human rights and opposes every form of "unjust discrimination" which includes "not just the death penalty, but all violent or discriminatory criminal laws against homosexuals," he said in a commentary on Vatican Radio Dec. 1.
The Vatican spokesman made his remarks after Migliore's comments were published. He said the archbishop clearly expressed the Church's and the Vatican's position.
Lombardi said the problem with the draft proposal is that it does not just ask for the decriminalization of homosexuality.
It also includes a declaration that might put pressure on or discriminate against communities that uphold marriage as only being between a man and a woman, the Vatican spokesman said.
Under such a declaration, nations or communities that "do not put every sexual orientation on exactly the same level can be considered contrary to the respect of human rights," he said.
It is no wonder then, he said, that fewer than 50 UN member states have endorsed the draft declaration and more than 150 have not signed on.
"The Vatican is not alone" in its opposition to the proposal, he said.
On Dec. 10, the UN General Assembly also was to be presented with a petition to make abortion a universally recognized human right.
Migliore told I.Media that such a proposal was "sad and outrageous" and represented the kind of "modern savagery that will dismantle our society from the inside out."
The initiative would promote the dismantling of the human-rights system by allowing declarations that are no longer about promoting and protecting fundamental rights but about "personal choices," he said.
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