Friday, February 20, 2009

US should lead the way on civil rights for all

Last year, France proposed a new UN declaration which would encourage the rest of the world to decriminalize homosexuality, thereby giving basic human rights to perhaps 5% of the world's population. Homosexuality is currently illegal in approximately 85 countries and is punishable by death in a handful of them.

Sixty countries voted with France to support the measure.

The United States, under the Bush Administration, opposed the measure, joining China and all of the Muslim countries in opposition to this most basic of human rights.

This month, however, at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, another proposal condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation was made, and this time, the United States under the Obama administration supported the measure, although it still failed to get a majority vote.

Thankfully, however, for those of us who see the United States as a leader in human and civil rights, we have finally made the right decision.

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