Wednesday June 30, 2010
Christian Views on Homosexuality Deemed “Hate Speech” by European Rights Agency
By Hilary White
ROME, June 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – When a European Christian pro-family group applied to join the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the EU’s Human Rights Agency, they did not expect to be denounced as promoters of “hate.”
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) objected to a statement by the Alliance of Romania’s Families (ARF) calling same-sex “marriage” an example of “human degeneration,” and denied their request for membership.
The ARF, a group lobbying to retain Romania’s traditional Christian social and legal underpinnings, had written on their website that, “So-called alternatives such as ‘families’ consisting of same-sex, are nothing but expressions of human degeneration.” The FRA responded, saying, “The qualification of other people’s sexual orientation as human degeneration is not an acceptable basis for creating a structured and fruitful dialogue.”
In a letter to the ARF’s president, Peter Costea, the agency called this “a fundamental rights perception that is incompatible with the participation in the FRP.” The agency also explained that their position was based upon the belief that ARF’s views amount to “hate speech.”
Costea responded to the FRA, saying that the rejection was “ideological and political.” He defended his organization, saying that members “believe in human rights and dignity for all, in diversity and mutual respect.”
“We believe in civilized dialogue and robust debate on issues of wide social impact and importance. Nevertheless, we need to point out, respectfully yet unambiguously, our view that your decision to deny ARF membership … is discriminatory and improper.”
“To us it evinces an attempt to weed out organisations that express, based on their freedom of expression and religion, views that are different from those officially espoused by the Agency.”
In 2009 the Fundamental Rights Agency invited all “stakeholding” nongovernmental organizations from EU countries to submit applications for membership in the Platform. The purpose of the platform, the agency says, is to engage in a “structured dialogue with civil society,” to ensure that the EU and national governments respect the fundamental rights of all persons.
While turning down the ARF, the Fundamental Rights Agency accepted the application of the British Humanist Association (BHA), one of Britain’s most outspokenly anti-Christian lobby groups that works for the removal of all signs of Christianity from public life in Britain.
The BHA features a who’s who list of Britain’s most hostile anti-Christians, including atheist Richard Dawkins and its current president, radical feminist journalist Polly Toynbee. The group is best known recently for its “atheist bus” campaigns and its political work to disestablish the Church of England, to abolish daily worship in schools and to “reform” religious education to exclude religious belief.