ANALYSIS: The United States Goes All-In to Advance LGBT in UN Policy
NEW YORK, November 24 (C-Fam) The Biden Administration overcame historic opposition to the LGBT agenda from African and Islamic countries by strategically placing controversial gay rights language in a resolution on fair elections and democracy.
The Biden administration took a risk by tabling a draft UN resolution with “sexual orientation and gender identity,” but it paid off when the resolution was adopted unanimously on Thursday last week. Traditional countries may come to regret not voting against the resolution.
Allowing the Biden administration to put “sexual orientation and gender identity” in a UN resolution is a provocation. It sets a precedent for adding LGBT issues in dozens of UN resolutions every year, ending a longstanding stalemate in UN negotiations over LGBT issues.
For over two decades the LGBT agenda was thwarted at UN headquarters by countries that threatened to vote against resolutions that included the terms “sexual orientation and gender identity.” Even the most ardent LGBT supporters gave up on it because diplomatic convention dictates that resolutions should be adopted unanimously, without a vote. They knew they couldn’t get any explicit references to the LGBT agenda in UN resolutions without a vote.
LGBT groups like the Human Rights Campaign and OutRight International have complained about this for years. They goaded Western diplomats and politicians to do more, even if it meant more acrimony in UN negotiations. They were unable to convince the U.S. State Department, until last week.
U.S. diplomats asked the General Assembly to adopt a resolution with “sexual orientation and gender identity” for the first time. It signaled that U.S. diplomats were putting the LGBT agenda as a higher priority than consensus. Just like LGBT activists have asked for many years, they were willing to risk having a vote on the resolution rather than remove the controversial terms. In the end, there was no need for a vote. Countries that have historically blocked the LGBT agenda backed down.
Nigeria, which coordinated the African Group position in recent months, may have bowed to pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken who was in Nigeria meeting with President Buhari when the General Assembly was scheduled to adopt the resolution. This was not a coincidence. After rumors that Nigeria would vote against the resolution, the adoption was moved to allow time for Nigeria to reconsider its position. In the end, no vote was called.
All in all, the unanimous adoption of the resolution on elections didn’t just signal a change of gears for the Biden administration. It showed that support for the LGBT agenda has slowly but steadily grown over the past two decades,
with ninety countries voting in favor of keeping the terms.
Should this precedent stand, more aggressive diplomacy can be expected from the Biden administration, the European Union, and other progressive nations to promote the LGBT agenda. “Sexual orientation and gender identity” and other LGBT issues will be streamlined across all UN resolutions. Traditional countries may need to content themselves with making reservations, no longer able to block the avalanche of LGBT policies that are coming their way.
UN member states may still amend the resolution in a General Assembly plenary session that will review
the resolution in the second week of December.
Stefano Gennarini, JD
Stefano Gennarini, JD