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U.S. Changes Language on ‘Sexual Rights’ to End UN Criticism

The United Nations is hailing a change of language used by the United States to discuss human rights. From this point forward, the Obama administration has announced that it will switch to the UN-approved terminology of “sexual rights” to describe sexual reproduction and other issues.

Urged to the change by the gay lobby in the U.S. as well as UN officials and other world bodies, deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Richard Erdman said that the federal government will use the new rhetoric to better mesh with foreign agendas on sexual, reproductive, and women’s rights.

Erdman said that the language includes people’s “right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”

“That language characterizes the human rights of women… and stresses equality between men and women in matters of sexual relations and sexuality,” he added.

Previous to the change, the U.S. referred to these issues as pertaining to “sexual reproductive health” and “reproductive rights.” But there was no nod to “sexual rights,” a phrase used to cover gay rights, trans rights, and other sexual proclivities as well as women’s rights and other issues.

Supporters of the change insist that the U.S. will better be able to address issues like HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation as well as women’s rights in the Third World.

But Erdman warned that “Sexual rights are not human rights” and that the change in terminology does not mean to suggest there is any new acknowledgement of any new “rights” as described by international law.

“Our use of this term does not reflect a view that they are part of customary international law,” he said. “It is, however, a critical expression of our support for the rights and dignity of all individuals regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

The new language is similar to that of the World Health Organization, whose language describes the concept as a way to “embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements.”

The new term, though, also gives more power to “sexual orientation,” something that was not much recognized by the government’s previous language.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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