(UNITED NATIONS)–In a paper published just last month, the UN Children’s Fund has asserted that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are now protected categories in international human rights law.
UNICEF calls for the striking down of any and all laws that can be construed to discriminate against LGBT kids, their parents, or their families. In the paper, UNICEF calls for LGBT marriage and couches the call in the context of international law.
The paper calls for equalizing the age of consent for sexual activity between LGBT kids and heterosexual kids. Additionally, it calls for the elimination of any “social norms and practices that discriminate and marginalize children and adults based on real or imagined sexual orientation or gender identity.”
As justification, UNICEF cites a number of binding UN treaties including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention Against Torture.
None of these treaties, however, mention “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” and none of them mention homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, or transsexualism. Each of these treaties could be amended to include these new categories but that would take a vote of the governments that have ratified the treaties. Such an effort has never been made because the chances of winning are, practically speaking, nonexistent.
Because such controversial changes could not be made to the documents themselves, advocates have used UN agencies, like UNICEF, and UN treaty monitoring bodies to assert these new rights exist under the treaties. Very few governments have agreed to these new interpretations. For instance, the “LGBT Core Group,” which met this week at the UN, includes only 15 governments.