U.S. and E.U. Block the Family from new U.N. Development Goals*
Unable to get recognition of homosexual and transgender rights at the U.N., the United States, European countries and their allies succeeded in blocking the family altogether from the new global development goals.
Possibly for the first time since its founding 70 years ago, a major U.N. agreement involving social policy does not mention the family. At its adoption this week, several countries highlighted this flaw.
In the absence of any substantive headway on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, the Obama administration, with the help of LGBT supporters, moved to erode the pro-life and pro-family principles that underpin the U.N.
At the heart of the U.N. is the recognition of the family as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society.” First stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every major UN agreement, and just about every UN resolution, touching on social policy has included a reference to the family. The Sustainable Development Goals — a 15-year, multi-billion dollar plan that will impact every country – are now an exception with the potential of becoming a harmful precedent.
While this is not a gain for LGBT rights, it is a loss for the pro-life and pro-family cause. The exclusion of the family does not re-define the family, nor does it imply any recognition for same-sex couples. But the exclusion creates a space for mischief to re-define the family, despite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights not contemplating any recognition of same-sex relationships as capable of constituting a family.
The omission of family does not reflect support for LGBT rights at the U.N., or global acceptance for LGBT rights. In fact, at its adoption several countries gave strong statements that the new goals should not be interpreted to include LGBT rights.
The Sustainable Development Goals actually had to be sanitized before countries would adopt them. Ambiguous language that might be interpreted as endorsing LGBT rights was qualified or removed from the final draft. Unable to get LGBT rights in, the U.S. and LGBT supporters worked to take the family out. Sadly, the hectic final session of negotiations resulted in the exclusion of any substantive reference to the family.
Under President Obama, the U.S. has pressured countries with objections to LGBT rights to stay silent in negotiations and abstain from voting against initiatives to promote LGBT rights—even asking countries to not voice their objections in U.N. negotiations and voting. This is a toned down approach from the early years when the administration would reportedly threaten countries with ending aid.
In 2010 the U.S. promised a stand-alone resolution on LGBT rights in the General Assembly. But they soon found out there was little support for such a resolution. They resorted to sneaking LGBT rights into resolutions as a tangential issue, and beefing up ways for the UN bureaucracy to promote LGBT rights, as well as hosting public events on LGBT rights at U.N. headquarters.
LGBT rights are not the only area where the sexual left failed to gain ground in the Sustainable Development Goals. The new goals do not recognize abortion as a right, nor mentions “comprehensive sexuality education.”
While they have not made abortion, LGBT rights or sex education international norms, that does not mean they have failed to implement these policies. Wealthy countries and foundations use foreign aid and donations to UN agencies to impose harmful social policies in other countries.