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GENEVA, Switzerland, July 14, 2021 (C-Fam) – A human rights expert charged with promoting LGBT issues through the United Nations said that changing one’s sex or gender based on self-identification is an “entitlement” under international human rights law.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the U.N. Independent Expert on LGBT issues, said gender is “firmly incorporated” in human rights law and that “it is the obligation of states to acknowledge and provide legal recognition of gender identity based on self-identification,” including for minors. He made the comments during a press conference to present his latest report on gender to the Human Rights Council.
Madrigal-Borloz did not shy away from controversy during the press conference on June 25, even calling into question Hungary’s fitness as a member of the European Union because of the country’s stance against promoting LGBT issues in schools.
“Gender is not inherent to persons. There is no evidence to that effect,” Madrigal-Borloz said.
“Gender is, in fact, the relationship between a person’s free will and a series of stereotypes that assign behaviors or patterns or roles to a particular sex,” he explained.
“I see nothing within the limits of a democratic society that would justify restricting that freedom (to change sex or gender),” he concluded.
He was openly critical of Hungary’s laws prohibiting the legal change of sex or gender based on self-identification and the teaching of LGBT issues in schools. He said the laws promote an “upbringing based on Christian values and Hungarian identity” and that they “perpetuate stigma.”
“A human rights-based approach requires that limitations to freedom be justified by a valuable societal objective. And what is valuable societal objective to restricting a person’s decision related to gender?” he added.
He also said the Hungarian laws interfered with the ability to deliver comprehensive sexuality and gender education, which he said were necessary for the “deconstruction of stigma.”
In the report, Madrigal-Borloz said comprehensive sexuality education was helpful to “deconstruct stereotypes about sex, sexuality and pleasure” and when he presented the report to States before the press conference, he said it would help train teachers to talk to children about their sexuality and sexual orientation.
Madrigal-Borloz also questioned Hungary’s membership in the EU bloc based on the shared values of the bloc.
“To what extent can you bend that value base and remain in the bloc?” he asked.
Hungary supported the creation of the LGBT Czar position that Madrigal-Borloz now occupies in 2016.
When asked about transgender athletes, he brushed aside concerns asking, “Whether there is any evidence that these discussions reflect any real problematics?”
Madrigal-Borloz said his findings had a “significant connection to the culture wars” and added that he hoped his report would provide “some tools so that the debates are not held on the basis of prejudice and stigma, but rather on the basis of evidence and legal analysis.”
While Madrigal-Borloz claimed wide support for LGBT issues in non-binding recommendations from international mechanisms, he did not acknowledge the lack of consensus among U.N. member states on this topic.
Nor did he address the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in his report or the press conference. The binding treaty, which establishes international criminal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity, defines gender as “the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society.” And it expressly excludes any other meaning.
Despite the controversial subject, no UN member states spoke against Madrigal-Borloz when he presented his report to the Human Rights Council. This is likely because the member states who opposed the mandate in 2016 promised not to engage the mandate and to consider it not legitimate.
Madrigal-Borloz’s will publish the second part of his 2021 report on gender to the General Assembly this summer. It is anticipated to include a black list of individuals and organizations who oppose the LGBT agenda globally. He also said he plans to issue a report on the clash between religious freedom and LGBT issues in 2022.
Reprinted with permission from C–Fam.org