Misaligned Priorities

Human Rights Watch opposes Protection for Marriage and Family Act

.- In a letter sent to the Guatemalan Congress, the organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged legislators to vote against the “Protection for Marriage and Family Act.”

The law would establish that the “family essentially originates, exclusively, from the conjugal union between a man and a woman, … in harmony with its essence, its purity, its nature, its reason of being, its values and original meaning...”

HRW urged the legislators to oppose the law due to its exclusion of single-parent families, divorced parents, and many unmarried heterosexual couples, as well as many indigenous family structures.

Juliana Cano Nieto, researcher in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch, said, “The aim of this bill is to strip certain partners, parents, and children of rights and recognition all families deserve.” 

The final vote on the law is predicted to be this week.  HRW acknowledged that each time a law is looking to protect marriage and family, the international opposition is greater and greater.

To try and protect the family, HRW proposes that the Yogyakarta Principles be adopted.  These principles are an application of international human rights law to sexual orientation and gender identity, which were released in 2007. They hold that “[e]veryone has the right to found a family, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity... No family may be subjected to discrimination on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity of any of its members.” 

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