UN President's Anti-Gay Remarks Condemned
The United Nations' new president, Ali Abdussalam Treki, a Libyan diplomat, recent anti-gay remarks at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly that opened for debate at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this week, were condemned by Illinois Representative Mike Quigley and Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen.
When asked about a UN resolution that calls for the universal decriminalization of being gay, Treki called the matter “very sensitive.”
“[T]hat matter is very sensitive, very touchy,” Treki said. “As a Muslim, I am not in favor of it … it is not accepted by the majority of countries. My opinion is not in favor of this matter at all. I think it's not really acceptable by our religion, our tradition”
“It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not,” he added.
The resolution, sponsored by France and the Netherlands, met with strong resistance from a group of Arab leaders who challenged it with a statement condemning being gay. The Arab-backed statement decried the decriminalization of being gay because it might lead to “the social normalization, and possibly the legitimization, of many deplorable acts including pedophilia.” Vatican officials also balked at the pro-gay resolution, saying it would promote gay marriage.
Congressman Quigley, a Democrat and longtime ally to the gay and lesbian community, responded on Thursday.
“I respect that there is a healthy diversity of viewpoints across our country and around the world, but to preserve that very freedom of expression, human rights need to be our common denominator,” Quigley told On Top Magazine in an email.
“With regard to the gentleman's remarks, what's 'not acceptable' is drawing geographic borders around equality,” he added.
Quigley, who won a special election in April to fill the seat vacated by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, joined Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in criticizing the president's remarks.
Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen was the first to speak out. Read her statement here.
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