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UN resolution on ‘Protection of the Family’ excludes language on diversity

Friday, June 27, 2014
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The United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted a resolution on the “Protection of the Family” that critics say could lay the groundwork for opposing LGBT rights under international law.

United Nations headquarters in New York.AP

United Nations headquarters in New York.

The resolution, tabled by 13 nations including Russia, Uganda, Egypt and China, calls on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the status of the family, and instructs the Council to convene a “panel discussion” on the subject at its next session.

Buzzfeed reports that the resolution does not specifically declare that marriage consists only of a man and a woman, but that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan introduced an amendment to add that language.

That amendment was withdrawn after Russia blocked a separate amendment tabled by Chile, Uruguay, Ireland and France, which stated that “different cultural, political and social systems various forms of the family exist.”

Representatives from the United Kingdom blasted member states who voted against the inclusion of diversity language after it was voted down because the final language excludes families led by grandparents, single parents, and same-sex couples.

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Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, which lobbies against LGBT rights proposals at the UN, said the vote reflected widespread opposition to efforts to protect LGBT rights in diplomatic agreements, which many countries view as being pushed by Europe and the United States.

Julie de Rivero, who directs Human Rights Watch’s advocacy with the Human Rights Council, called it “a travesty for the UN to ignore reality” that “families come in all shapes and forms.”

The resolution comes just weeks after the U.N. unanimously elected Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutsea, an vocal opponent of LGBT rights, as president for its 69th session.

A copy of the resolution is here.

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