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GENEVA, July 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-family resolution has been passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva of “unprecedented” force and reach, thanks to a coalition of African and other developing countries, China and Russia and a support group of socially conservative NGOs.

“This is unprecedented, a tremendous victory for the family,” Sharon Slater, the head of Family Watch International, told LifeSiteNews. “It is the first time ever in the history of the United Nations that a comprehensive resolution has been passed calling for the protection of the family as a fundamental unit of society, recognizing the prior right of parents to educate their children, and calling on all nations to create family-sensitive policies and recognize their binding obligations under treaty to protect the family.”

The voting on the “Protection of the Family” resolution was 27 for and 14 against, Slater noted. Those opposing the motion included the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and other Western European countries, while its sponsors included Russia, China, Belarus, and more than a dozen Muslim and African countries. The four abstaining members of the council—Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Macedonia—probably were forced to do so by the rich countries opposing the bill.

“The developed countries probably put huge pressure on the others to stop the bill or insert amendments undermining its intent by threatening to withhold foreign aid,” said Slater. “We applaud those who were able to stand up for the family, and we ask people to write to them to thank them.” (FWI provides a webpage to help people send these supportive letters.)

Austin Ruse of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM), also termed the resolution “a tremendous victory for the pro-family world” and a defeat for the small but powerful group of anti-family groups supported by developed countries and the United States. Several attempts were made by feminist and pro-LGBT groups to first defeat and then amend the resolution by inserting “reproductive rights”–a euphemism for abortion, and by replacing “the family” with “families” and by inserting inclusive language to apply the resolution to sexual minorities.

The passage of the resolution was predictably condemned by feminist and sexual advocacy groups. The Sexual Rights Initiative, for example, called it “a set back to the advancement of the human rights of individuals as it seeks to elevate the family as an institution in need of protection without acknowledging the harms and human rights abuses that are known to occur within families, or recognizing that diverse forms of family exist.”

Specifically, it claimed, “Families perpetuate patriarchal oppression, traditions and harmful practices, and…human rights abuses do occur within families (i.e., marital rape, child abuse, FGM [female genital mutilation], early and forced marriage, dowry related violence, so-called ‘honour’ killings and other forms of domestic violence).”

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Nonetheless, said Ruse, “The globe was with us on this resolution. Only a small number of countries backed the LGBT agenda. You can be certain the United States lobbied with great energy against this resolution. Supporting the LGBT agenda is a primary objective of U.S. foreign policy.”

Slater said the resolution was particularly significant because its preamble assembled dozens of past UN resolutions, binding treaties and foundational declarations, all recognizing “the family” as a cornerstone of society, a defender of human rights, a transmitter of social, cultural and religious values, primary educator of youth, and, just in time for current negotiations at the UN in New York City on sustainable development, a positive force for economic development.

Significantly, the resolution also recognized the family as a “crosscutting” value—one that national policy makers must avoid weakening in pursuit of other policy goals.

Ruse said that the UN bureaucracy, including the High Commission on Human Rights, act as if the United Nations already protect sexual orientation or gender identity from discrimination, even though this has not been recognized in resolutions. “The bureaucracy is out of control.”

Nonetheless, said FWI’s Slater, the passage of such a powerful resolution will undermine efforts of feminist or LGBT lobbyists to use the UN to bend individual countries to their agenda. “The next step is to get pro-family language and policies included in the policies on sustainable development,” said Slater.

The victory marks the growing impact of the UN Family Rights Caucus, a coalition of pro-family NGOs that supported the national delegations in Geneva.