The statement made by the Holy See during the debate on LSVD
Madame Chair, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to take the floor in relation to the NGO under consideration.
The Holy See understands that not all ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) members and proponents have 100 per cent similar stand on issues such as age of consent, adoption rights, employment and same sex marriage.
While the paper of this NGO under consideration presents neatly and cleanly the basic data required by this Committee, this Delegation tries however to know it more closely from the philosophical, social, cultural and political currents working behind its advocacy which are reflected from what and how its members and supporters demand their rights through websites, channels and lobbies on which I would like to comment.
1. While ILGA (and other associated organizations) demand equal rights with heterosexual persons on age of consent and other issues in the name of sexual orientation, things should however be put into perspective: Sexual orientation is not comparable to race or ethnic origin.
In spite of its assertions about human rights, this NGO’s particular interests fall beyond the scope of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international juridical instruments:
• In other words, what ILGA and its proponents are asking is not for equal rights but special rights; special rights that allow others a leeway for a discreet suppression of moral distinctions in choices and behavior that are of vital concern to the international community and the international order.
2. On many occasions that the Holy See has been misunderstood, it is because it has always critically distinguished a homosexual person from his/her choices and behavior. The Holy See has always respected and defended all persons who are entitled to the protection of their fundamental dignity granted not by the State, not by some international organization, but by the nature given to them by the Creator.
3. The Holy See’s defense of traditional family is not a matter of attachment to a bygone cultural model which refuses to face facts. Placing the homosexual lifestyle on the level of marriage will have “a
direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy”
4. The lack of making a stand against public homosexual behavior amounts to regarding homosexuality, as such, “as a positive source of human rights. Tolerance without standards seeks to create a level playing field offering loopholes for suppressing moral distinctions in choices and behavior which would be tantamount to accepting fake expressions of “anarchic freedom”.
5. The Holy See’s position on marriage and adoption of children is based precisely on a recognition of a fundamental truth: marriage is based on the union of a man and a woman; the family is based on marriage. In spite of interpretations to the contrary, this is the meaning of the Universal Declaration and the 1966 Covenants. Furthermore new forms of family structure are weaker and less stable.
6. If this stand of the Holy See which hopefully is shared by other distinguished members of the NGO Committee here, were to be taken as an imposition of its own morality, in response it cannot but say that “gay rights laws and the demand for special rights as well impose one view of sexual morality (sexual relativism) on all peoples and then enforce this code of morality on constituents of other groups holding other beliefs and legislations.”
Madame Chair, while this delegation is as much sorry for the victims of unfairness leveled against lesbian and gay persons it cannot but comment in defense of the legitimate concerns involving fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration. Again, Madame Chair, this delegation does not have anything against the paper in front of us. The objections raised, as said earlier, were based upon the philosophical, social, cultural and political motors behind these currents of advocacy in which ILGA in general is not completely innocent of.
Thank you very very much, Madame Chair.