UNITED NATIONS: by Babette FrancisNews Weekly
UN skirmishes over meaning of gender
, February 6, 2010
Sharon Slater, president of Family Watch International, with whom Endeavour Forum's "observers" work at the United Nations, has recently reported on the latest skirmish at the UN on defining "gender".
Sadly, Australia was among the countries which supported the definition of gender as a fluid, "social construct". Fortunately, however, a majority of other UN member-states rejected this radical definition.
Mrs Slater writes: "In an unprecedented move at the end of November 2009, UN member-states sent a strong 'push back' message when they voted to reject a radical report issued in October by Martin Scheinin, 'special rapporteur' of the UN Human Rights Council. (Special rapporteurs are supposed to be unbiased expert consultants who work with UN committees).
"The topic Scheinin had been assigned to report on to the UN General Assembly was gender-based human rights abuses in counter-terrorism measures. He grossly overstepped his mandate when he strayed from his topic and redefined gender in a manner that runs counter to UN consensus language and undermines the institution of the family.
"Scheinin's pronouncement that gender is fluid and socially constructed is a position held by those seeking to advance the radical sexual rights agenda.
"In his report, he also tried to advance an extremely controversial sexual rights document called the Yogyakarta Principles, which he, along with other self-proclaimed experts, helped draft. This is the same document ... which seeks to establish, among other sexual rights, a right to government paid sex-change operations.
"Scheinin and his colleagues falsely claim that all countries are already under legal obligation because of treaties they have signed to promote and protect a number of fictitious sexual rights outlined in detail in the Yogyakarta Principles.
"Ironically, they claim these invented rights are universally recognised (even though the majority of countries have laws that restrict the sexual activities they are seeking to promote) and therefore have become binding customary international law.
"A major goal of pro-family observers at the UN is to educate delegates regarding the Yogyakarta Principles, the Magna Carta of the homosexual and transgender rights movement, and to make sure they are never recognised or adopted by the UN or by any country. ...
"Unfortunately, Mr Scheinin's radical sexual ideologies are not just his own but are supported by many European countries and a growing number of Latin American countries, which are being joined by the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. All of them voted to try to stop the proposal to reject Scheinin's report.
"However, due to the efforts of a number of UN delegates, led by the African voting block, and supported by Islamic countries and a number of Caribbean states working behind the scenes, Scheinin's report was rejected by a majority vote of UN member states.
"A statement made by the representative from St Lucia, before the vote, expressed that country's 'opposition to the incorporation of the Special Rapporteur's personal ideas about what a gender perspective means in the context of his mandate' and lamented the fact that the rapporteur had '(a) exceeded his mandate, (b) unilaterally attempted to change the definition of a universally accepted term, and (c) based his definition on premises which do not exist in international human rights law'.
"We are grateful to the UN delegates who were willing to push back against these countries and UN 'experts' who are seeking to manipulate the UN system to advance the sexual rights agenda."Canada
Meanwhile in Canada, the Toronto District School Board is introducing a survey asking Ontario students in grades 9–12 to provide voluntary information on a variety of questions, including whether they identify as "straight, gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, queer or two-spirited" (an aboriginal term).
Experts in children's mental health have said that the trend in schools towards determining child sexual orientation is dangerously misplaced. George A. Rekers, PhD, research director for child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, stated that children are particularly vulnerable to confusion in the development of their sexual identities.
In an article on child gender identity disorder, Rekers criticised the breakdown of sex-role distinctions in the socialisation of children as a direct source of gender confusion for children.
The survey was produced after concerns over racial inequality and the possibility that some schools expelled black students more frequently than white students.
The original content was expanded to more than 55 questions covering a variety of areas of student interests, in order to provide a census of the province's student body. Sexual orientation was considered a legitimate area of interest by the board.
Babette Francis is national co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., an NGO having special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC).
Sharon Slater, "UN member states reject new definition of gender!", Family Watch International Newsletter
(Gilbert, Arizona), December 3, 2009.