In a recent position paper, UNICEF declared that the only way to protect gender-diverse children from discrimination is by changing attitudes toward gender identity and sexual orientation.
“Positive social norms that recognize and welcome diversity in cultures around the world should be reinforced to include the recognition, protection and promotion of the human rights of all people, regardless of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” the paper says.
“All measures to protect LGBT children,” the paper continues, “should be enforced in a manner that truly is in the best interests of children, and does not simply silence the victim or drive the discussion underground.”
While universal agreement reigns regarding the protection of children from violence and abuse, the UNICEF proposal goes well beyond the defense of children and urges approval for the LGBT lifestyle as a matter of universal human rights.
What if, for instance, a mother banned the cross-dressing of her ten-year-old son? Such interference would seem to be a violation of the youngster’s human rights, according to the UNICEF paper.
Such meddling with the idea of universal rights undermines the very important rights already enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration, such as life, liberty, security, and equality before the law.
The paper criticizes laws affecting homosexual behavior because “they can also fuel discrimination, stigma, and even violence against people on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation and gender identities.” If this is true, then supposedly any speech or action that leads to discrimination or stigma is equally problematic.
This means that families, communities, churches, and associations that express moral disapproval for the homosexual agenda are subject to suspicion as potential hate mongers and sources of discrimination, or even violence.
The real problem with UNICEF’s paper is its substitution of “motive” for “content” in cases of abuse. It lumps together intimidation, harassment, and violence; discrimination at school, in hospitals, in sporting teams; rejection by family, community, or society; forced marriage; and hate motivated violence, including murder. So, by this logic, teasing in the locker room and murder form part of the same crime set, because they are both animated by hostility toward LGBT persons. Western law has always scrupulously avoided judging motive as the basis for the gravity of a crime, preferring instead to focus on the nature of the criminal act itself.
A just and free society welcomes debate, even when this means disagreement about the morality or immorality of given behaviors or lifestyles. The UNICEF proposal would impose moral uniformity, silencing those who disagree.
In other words, the UNICEF paper directly contradicts the Universal Declaration’s important Article 18, which states that everyone “has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” as well as the right “to manifest his religion or belief.” Such internal schizophrenia doesn’t bode well for the UN.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome