By uncritically publishing an Associated Press report on the Obama administration’s decision to support a United Nations statement on “gay rights,” The New York Times once again told only part of the story — the part that suited its purposes.
America’s Gay Newspaper of Record reported that unlike that old meanie, George Bush, Obama will sign what it called the “UN Gay Rights Declaration” — which supposedly does no more than call for the decriminalization of homosexual behavior.
Right from the get-go, The Times and AP got it wrong. The French-sponsored measure isn’t a declaration (which has to come out of a U.N. committee) but a statement presented at the United Nations for member-states to sign.
After noting that the statement was “endorsed by all European Union members as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries,” the paper suggested that Bush refused to sign on due to states-rights concerns. (Some states allow landlords and private employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.)
But, among its 13 provisions, the French statement “reaffirms … that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Also, signers are committed to ending “harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Do the bans on same-sex marriage in 30 states and the federal Defense of Marriage Act constitute “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation”?
Is our refusal to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military the sort of “exclusion” the statement condemns?
What’s purported to be a “declaration” calling for the decriminalization of homosexual acts, is actually far-reaching and could force changes on this nation that voters have consistently opposed. Not that you’d have know it from the AP story in The Times.