As June approaches, get ready for the official celebration of “Gay Pride Month” by U.S. embassies abroad.
If sodomy and same-sex marriage are constitutional rights, what is their relationship to U.S. foreign policy? Despite the tremendous controversy regarding these issues within the United States, the Obama administration has gone ahead and placed them at the center of U. S. diplomacy. Why? In Libido Dominandi, E. Michael Jones wrote that the rationalization of sexual misbehavior “could only calm the troubled conscience in an effective manner when it was legitimized by the regime in power… [which] went on in the name of high moral purpose to make this vision normative for the entire world.” Therefore, the Obama administration has undertaken the task of universalizing the rationalization for sodomitical behavior and is doing so with high moral rhetoric – in this case, by appropriating the language of human rights.
The effort began in earnest on International Human Rights Day, December 6, 2011. President Obama issued a memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies, directing them “to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons”. Mr. Obama said that, “The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights”.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, explained, “They have directed their embassies everywhere to monitor and assist domestic homosexual movements whether the host country and their people accept it or not. The U.S. is very powerful and can force governments to submit to its social-policy views. They are intent on forcing homosexual ‘marriage’ and homosexual adoption on countries that are offended by such things…”
In her International Human Rights Day speech, Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, gave the rationale for this. She came to the defense of those “forced to suppress or deny who they are to protect themselves from harm. I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people”, whom she described with a strong Rousseauian echo as “human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity…” But, if they were born free, why are they not free now? No doubt, because society oppresses them, just as South Africa once oppressed its black population through apartheid – an example Mrs. Clinton gives. But history overcame that, and since, as Rousseau taught, man is a product of history, history can overcome this, too. Thus, Mrs. Clinton ends with the admonition, “Be on the right side of history”.
In a moment of humility, Mrs. Clinton stated that, “my own country’s record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect. Until 2003, it was still a crime in parts of our country.” It was? What was it? Being homosexual or lesbian was not a crime in the United States, so what was she referring to?
Mrs. Clinton never said, but the it to which she alluded is sodomy, the elephant in the room. She repeated the mantra that “it is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay…” and “it should never be a crime to be gay”. One would have to agree in so far as persecution of and violence against homosexuals is concerned but, as Austin Ruse has pointed out, “Such attacks upon individuals are already recognized as violations of human rights in international law particularly in the 1966 Covenants implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other existing treaties”. This, then, is moving beyond that to the moral and legal endorsement of certain behavior. Some governments continue to have laws against homosexual acts, which is not the same thing as violating their rights as human beings. Was Mrs. Clinton saying that it is a violation of human rights to declare sodomy illegal?
Apparently, for that would be consistent with Section 1 in the Obama directive, instructing agencies abroad to engage in “Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or Conduct Abroad”(emphasis added). What kind of conduct might this be? The only conduct that is or has been consistently criminalized by many countries is sodomy. What might be the moral objections to such laws? The somewhat evasive answer in the Presidential Memorandum is because “no country should deny people their rights because of who they love…” In her speech, Mrs. Clinton echoed this response: “We need to ask ourselves, ‘How would it feel if it were a crime to love the person I love?’”
Well, that depends. What if the person one loves is already married? What if the person one loves is a sibling? How about a teacher in love with a student? Or a pastor in love with a choir boy? Or an uncle with his niece? Acting upon any of these loves in a sexual relationship is, in most places, a crime. How it would feel does not really matter since, in each of these cases, it is morally wrong to sexualize the relationship. Feelings do not change the moral nature of an act. Why, if all the above cases deserve prohibition, do homosexuals deserve an exemption when it comes to sodomy?
As with all rationalizations for moral misbehavior, Mrs. Clinton’s speech was rife with denials of reality, three of which came in one sentence. She said, “Now, there are some who say and believe that all gay people are pedophiles, that homosexuality is a disease that can become caught or cured, or that gays recruit others to become gay. Well, these notions are simply not true”. Well, these notions have to be seen as not true for her to promote the “gay” agenda internationally and get away with it. I have never met anyone who believes that all homosexuals are pedophiles. By setting up the pedophile straw man, Mrs. Clinton avoids this unpleasant reality. Whether homosexuality is a disease or not (it is certainly a disorder), there is ample evidence that it can be cured. Some who have become immersed in this life and who later wish to leave it have successfully done so through a variety of therapies. For Secretary Clinton to deny this is an enormous disservice to the very people whose rights she purports to be defending.
Lastly, the bigger the lie, the bolder the assertion – as in Mrs. Clinton’s outright denial that “gays recruit others to become gay”. In my professional career in the arts, I witnessed such recruitment, saw its occasional success, and was several times the object of it. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the homosexual subculture could not possibly make such a statement. This is not to say that all homosexuals recruit, but to assert that none do is a complete denial of reality – which, after all, is the point of the rationalization.
One of the most immediate results of the priority given to the homosexual cause by President Obama and Secretary Clinton has been the profusion of “gay pride” commemorations and celebrations in U.S. embassies abroad. June is the month singled out for this because, in 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month”.
Therefore, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad celebrated its first-ever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) “pride celebration” with an event on June 26, 2011. The embassy said the purpose of meeting was to demonstrate “support for human rights, including LGBT rights, in Pakistan at a time when those rights are increasingly under attack from extremist elements throughout Pakistani society.” Richard Hoagland, the U.S. deputy chief of mission, was quoted on the embassy website, as saying, “I want to be clear that the U.S. Embassy is here to support you and stand by your side every step of the way”. However, it is Pakistan’s Penal Code, not extremist elements, that, in Section 377 (introduced at the time of British colonialism), states that “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” shall be punished with some prison term and a fine.
Pakistani students protested against what they called “the attempts of the United States to promote vulgarity in Islamic societies under the pretext of human rights”. One speaker at a demonstration said, “Now the United States wants to project and promote objectionable, unnatural, abnormal behaviors under the pretext of equality and human rights, which is not at all acceptable…If you destroy the morality of the society, you have destroyed it completely.”
In Nairobi, Kenya, June, 2012, the U.S. Embassy hosted what is thought to be the first “Gay Pride” event in that country. John Haynes, a public affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, introduced the event: "The U.S. government for its part has made it clear that the advancement of human rights for LGBT people is central to our human rights policies around the world and to the realization of our foreign policy goals". Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya, just as they were in parts of the United States until 2003.
This type of thing at U.S. embassies has become standard. As then-Secretary of State Clinton proclaimed in June, 2012: “United States Embassies and Missions throughout the world are working to defend the rights of LGBT people of all races, religions, and nationalities as part of our comprehensive human rights policy and as a priority of our foreign policy. From Riga, where two U.S. Ambassadors and a Deputy Assistant Secretary marched in solidarity with Baltic Pride; to Nassau, where the Embassy joined together with civil society to screen a film about LGBT issues in Caribbean societies; to Albania, where our Embassy is coordinating the first-ever regional Pride conference for diplomats and activists to discuss human rights and shared experiences”.
Secretary Clinton avowed that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights”. The problem with this should be self-evident. The promotion of gay rights must come at the expense of the promotion of human rights because the two notions are immiscible. One is founded on the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God and the other on moral relativism, which eviscerates the very idea of natural rights and the natural law on which they are based. If you have one, you cannot have the other. You have your rights by virtue of being a human being, and not by anything else – not ethnicity, not religion, not race, not tribe, not sexual orientation.
I deplore, for instance, the persecution of Baha’is in Iran and the persecution of Ahamdis in Pakistan. Nonetheless, there is no such thing as Ahmadi rights or Baha’i rights: there are only human rights. And our defense of them comes precisely at the level of principle in the inalienable right to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Were we to construct such a thing as Ahmadi rights or Baha’i rights or “gay” rights, we would be eviscerating the foundations for those very human rights, which have to be universal by definition in order to exist. If one has rights as a Baha’i, what happens to those rights if one converts to, say Christianity? Does one then lose one’s Baha’i rights and obtain new Christian rights? What happens to one’s “gay” rights if one goes straight? One does not possess or attain rights in this way. They are inalienable because one possesses them by virtue of one’s human nature. Either they exist at that level, or they do not exist at all. If someone tries to appropriate human rights for something that applies to less than everyone, then you may be sure that they are undermining the very notion of human rights.
If the United States wishes to promote democratic principles and constitutional rule in other countries, but insists on inserting manufactured rights as integral to that program, it will be rejected overall by religious people and by anyone who has arrived at the existence of human rights from natural law. If we wish not only to make ourselves irrelevant, but an object of derision in the Muslim and other parts of world, all we have to do is openly promote the rationalization of homosexual behavior, which is explicitly taught against as inherently immoral by Islam and, in fact, by every minority religion in those Muslim-majority countries, including Christianity and Judaism. If we wish to make this part of American public diplomacy, as we have been doing, we can surrender the idea that the United States is promoting democracy in those countries because they are already responding, “If this is democracy, we don’t want it, thank you; we would rather keep our faith and morals.” But, of course, democracy is not the goal; the goal is the universalization of the rationalization for sodomy. This is now one of the depraved purposes of U.S. foreign policy. The light from the City on the Hill is casting a very dark shadow.
This article derives from a longer piece on Mercatornet.
Robert R. Reilly writes for Mercatornet.com, is a music critic for Crisis Magazine and author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind. He is currently completing a book on the natural law argument against same-sex marriage for Ignatius Press.
E-mail him at [email protected]
* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.