Obama’s Obsession with Sexual Orientation

A few weeks ago, Malawi’s Ambassador to the United Nations said privately that the Obama administration had threatened to withhold $350 million in aid unless Malawi’s government struck down its laws on sodomy.

Let’s take a look at tiny Malawi. According to the CIA World Fact Book, among Malawi’s roughly 16-million inhabitants, the life expectancy is a paltry 5I.7 years, which turns to be the 211th lowest life expectancy in the world. Malawi has the eleventh highest infant mortality rate in the world. And 44 percent of the population does not have safe sanitation, meaning they very well might be peeing where they drink.

Malawi is also among the poorest countries in the world. A $350-million aid package goes a long way there, yet here are President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holding Malawi hostage to the new U.S. homosexual agenda. Make sodomy legal or your people can twist in the wind.

Malawi did not exactly arrive at its sodomy laws through a fatwa. It is 82-percent Christian and a multi-party democracy with a bi-cameral legislature and judicial review.

Within days, its government committed to changing Malawis sodomy laws. Obama the Bully hailed this as a great victory. Yes, you can usually get your way by threatening the world’s poorest people.

This is just a small and shocking measure of how the LGBT agenda has come to dominate at least part of our young president’s foreign policy.

On June 21 our U. N. Ambassador, Susan Rice, rose in the General Assembly to congratulate Ban Ki-Moon for reelection as Secretary General. In her short speech she thanked him for insisting on “recognizing that lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender rights are, simply, human rights.” No other ambassador made such a reference.

One incensed ambassador wondered if she was under instructions from President Obama reaching out to his N. Y. homosexual constituency. He said, “In that solemn atmosphere the reference to LGBT sounded very strange, if not totally out of place or even something of bad taste.” He pointed out that Rice did not even mention the Millennium Development Goals, a sign of where the administration’s heart really lies.

          Steamrolling even tiny Malawi to promote the LGBT agenda

A few weeks ago the administration put great pressure on Latin American governments to support a U.N. resolution calling for a commission to study violence against homosexuals. It had wanted something far stronger: sexual orientation and gender identity as new categories of non-discrimination in international law, similar to religious freedom. The commission is only a first step. In a speech to organized homosexuals in the State Department, Hillary Clinton called it “the first ever U.N. resolution recognizing the human rights of LGBT people worldwide.” Though not entirely accurate, that shows how she wishes to be seen.

In the same speech, Clinton talked about an array of global programs to advance the homosexual agenda which our State Department pursues in an alphabet soup of agencies: USAID, the International Organizations Bureau, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, European and Eurasian Affairs, and Western Hemisphere Affairs. She described how a homosexual rights parade in Slovakia sparked violence last year and how we orchestrated support for the parade with twenty other governments. She bragged, to great laughter from the diplomatic crowd, that she had helped with Lady Gaga’s appearance at a homosexual rally in Rome. Take that, Catholic Church!

Months ago the administration directed all U.S. Embassies in the world to monitor and assist domestic homosexual movements. The wishes, traditions, or religious practices of the home populations do not matter.

The U.S. President can be himself on social policy at the U.N., because it’s mostly a backwater. Americans do not pay attention except for certain security matters or during times of scandal. Most Americans totally ignore the U.N., especially when it comes to U. N. social policy, where the only partisan activists on both sides follow developments. This is where real payback to the political base comes. President Bush, for instance, was more pro-life at the U.N. than in any other venue. President Obama is more pro-abortion, if you can imagine, and certainly more pro-homosexual there than anywhere.

The good news is there is a solid and growing bloc opposed to this agenda. In 2008 the pro-homosexual forces got sixty-five countries to sign a petition calling for sexual orientation to be a new category of non-discrimination. But sixty governments signed a counter statement. Last fall, eighty-five governments signed a new and similar pro-LGBT statement. On the other hand, regional groups representing more than eighty countries condemned it.

How much difference can America make on this issue around the world and at the U.N.? Certainly, we can threaten poor countries into going along, and that will certainly continue. But the U.N. is not the U.S., and other countries aren’t either. There are not enough homosexual billionaires or Hollywood moguls to change minds globally or in countries where homosexuality is properly seen as a threat to public health and morals.

The Church needs to do more but sadly there is a split within the Church about the question of decriminalizing homosexual acts. In a statement at the U.N. two years ago, the Holy See confused the issue by saying that “homosexuality” should be decriminalized. The distinction the Holy See failed to make is between the homosexual condition or homosexual thoughts, and homosexual actions. We are told the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued secret guidelines on this issue and has come out in favor of decriminalization. Of what, we are not certain. But the Church is needed on this to teach clearly and loudly that, no matter the issue of decriminalization, sexual orientation and gender identity can never come alongside freedom of religion in human rights law. In that match-up, freedom of religion always loses.

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM. 

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The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-Fam.