UN promoting LGBTQ rights while undermining women's rights and religious freedom: Report

UN promoting LGBTQ rights while undermining women's rights and religious freedom: Report
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic that's now nearly closing in on two million cases worldwide, a new United Nations report is threatening our freedom and human rights, the Washington Times has analyzed. 

The UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) recent's report to the UN's Human Rights Council examined the global status of religious freedom, says Washington Times. Billions of people the world over, this past week exercised their rights to religious freedom while celebrating the Christian holiday, Easter,  but the new report seems to compromise this freedom and women's rights. Furthermore, the report comes as a  'progressive' agenda of abortion and new 'rights' to back membership of people into sexual identity groups. 

The report put forth by Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN expert responsible for protecting religious freedom,  is asking governments to establish “an enabling environment for pluralist and progressive self-understandings to be manifested…” In his report, the UN expert urges states to repeal gender-based discrimination laws, including those enacted with reference to religious considerations that criminalize adultery; criminalize persons on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity; criminalize abortion in all cases and facilitate religious practices that violate human rights.

“Women and LGBT+ people experience discrimination and violence inflicted in the name of religion by State and non-State actors that impedes their ability to fully enjoy their human rights, including their right to freedom of religion or belief,” he said.

The report also undermines the rights of women, undermining women empowerment and the rights given to the female gender by clubbing their concerns together with new claims based on gender orientation and gender identity. Its interpretation of 'gender equality' includes transgender ideology and the concept of fluid  'gender identities'.  'Gender equality' initially instated, was in reverence to the lack of rights that women have and the inequalities they face, every day of their life.

Murray Bartlett is seen at the 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade on June 30, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Getty Images)

According to the Washington Times, though the UN bureaucracy is attempting to include the minority community and to redefine gender in the term 'gender identity' to include women that identify as men and men that identify as women, it could potentially undermine the basic rights of women. In some nations, the inclusion of this new right based on 'gender identity' has reduced safety and privacy for women especially boarding in shelters, prisons or even while using public restrooms. Additionally, it has also decreased their chances of excelling in athletic opportunities against male competitors.  

The UN reports' focus on promoting abortion and LGBTQ+ rights is blindsiding itself from other pressing issues that women and girls worldwide are struggling with, the article stated. Women are victims of human trafficking and reports suggest that at least 52 percent of women fall prey to trafficking every year, but the UN seems to overlook this fact and the work of religious groups in tackling the same issue. The report seems to be superficial in a way, overlooking women as victims of religious freedom restrictions. 

The UN's religious freedom clause came into being 75 years ago and acknowledged that we, as people, have every right to practice the religion of our choice. It is a freedom that the no state or multilateral body like the UN should impede, simply because it is not theirs to give or confiscate. Particularly, it should not be manipulated to serve any particular form of political agenda. However, Dr Shaheed's report presented to the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council on February 27, threatens this religious freedom - attacking religious people and organizations that have traditional views on life, family, marriage and sexuality under the guise of 'non-discrimination'. The report draws attention to religion as a reasoning for the abhorrent violation of human rights, the news article further stated. 

Activists participate in the Women's March Los Angeles 2018 on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

The report is a threat to the freedom of those religious communities that still hold conservative faiths, which could force them to abide by the new laws of abortion and eights based on sexual identity. There is no international agreement that states the right to abortion, but the UN report to the HRC asserts that the existence of such a right dwarfs a medical right to conscientious objection. The report also suggests the role of the state in dogmatic matters if any religious institution has "harmful discriminatory gender norms", and criticizes religious communities in Africa that oppose issuing school books that promote homosexuality. 

Every person is entitled to his/her right and dignity, including those that identify as part of the LGBT society, but this report bypasses the treaty negotiation process to assert that the beliefs about sexual identity eclipses internationally-recognized human rights and religious freedom. The Washington Times further opines that the UN bureaucracy should permit member states' sovereignty and freedom to make their own laws and abide by them, and when a new law is introduced it should be thoroughly examined to see if it violates any of the fundamental human rights, and negotiated thereafter. Member states should be allowed to debate and votes accordingly, so even the smaller and poorer states have a say in the decision because otherwise, it would give room for criticism that human rights could only be an excuse to impose Western values. 

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