Sergio Burga

UNICEF should rename itself the United Nations Sex for Children Fund - UNISEX

Sergio Burga
By Sergio Burga
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December 4, 2012 (Pop.org) - The debate over a new Code on Childhood and Adolescence is raging in Peru. On the one side are UNICEF, UNFPA, Save the Children and a coalition of abortion-minded and radical feminist groups, many, if not most, of whom are foreign funded. These groups believe that the most important “rights of the child” center around so-called “sexual and reproductive rights.” They encourage the early onset of sexual activity and massive condom distribution schemes for kids as young as 14 to deal with the increased risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases that will result.

On the other side are the Catholic Church, pro-life NGOs and, of course, PRI, who believe that sexual pleasure, while it has its place, is not the main point of human life. Science shows that sex is best in lifelong monogamous relationships called marriages, and that condoms are a flimsy excuse for lack of self control in sexual matters that, in the fumbling fingers of adolescents, do little to stop either pregnancy or disease.

The debate centers around Article 27 of the Code, which is called “Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health.” To understand what this phrase means, we have to go back to the Action Programme of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. “Reproductive rights” was there advanced as a panacea for poverty, by those who believed that the only thing necessary to eradicate the poor was the widespread availability of legal abortion, sterilization on demand, and free contraception, along with enough sex education to overcome the reluctance of women and children to access these “health services.”

It is thus no surprise that pro-abortion NGOs such as Manuela Ramos and PROMSEX are heavily promoting this initiative. The new “sexual and reproductive rights” being added to our legal framework would pave the way for the legalization of abortion.

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“Reproductive and Sexual Rights Services”

Article 27 mandates that the government provide, for teenagers 14 years of age and older, access to “information, guidance, and sexual and reproductive health services.” It is important to note how mechanistic the information provided in sex-ed courses is, and how it totally lacks what would commonly be understood as “guidance.” The training of character and education in morals is considered to be irrelevant. The emotional and psychological needs of children and adolescents are ignored. Children are reduced to their genitalia.

Contraceptives would be distributed to teenagers without the foreknowledge or consent of their parents or guardians. Such contraceptives would include invasive methods such as IUDs or Depo-Provera injections, along with the indiscriminate distribution of condoms. So-called “confidential sexual health services” could also include vasectomies or tubal ligations. Parents are to be shut out from making medical decisions about their children if the treatment has anything to do with sex, an arbitrary and indefensible violation of parent’s rights.

UNICEF defends this attack on parents and their children by alleging that high rates of teen pregnancy demand action. But they undercut their own arguments by portraying their initiative as an effort to help adolescents achieve “sexual freedom,” that is, “the ability to decide when to initiate a sexual life.” The principal goal of such a “sexual life” is, in the view of the U.N., pleasure seeking. Avoiding pregnancy and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases are just secondary goals.

Phony Studies Refuted

The UN agency and its allies defends its efforts to sexualize the young by citing “studies” that they themselves have carried out and published. Independent and objective scientific studies paint a very different picture on age of sexual initiation.

- A 2002 study by the group, Surveillance of Citizens Rights in Health, gave the average age of adolescent sexual initiation as “16.8 years old in men and the 18.9 years old in women.” However, the study went on to note that “there are large variations between regions and educational levels”.
- The Ministry of Health of Peru carried out a 2010 Global School Health Survey among students in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of secondary education. These students, who were 14, 15, and 16 years of age, reported that only 19.7% of their number (28.3% of boys and 11.1% of girls) had had intercourse.
- According to the ongoing ENDES 2011 survey of demography and family health, the median age of first sexual intercourse is 19.0 years in urban areas and 17.7 years in rural areas.

The late onset of sexual activity in Peru suggests that any program to encourage “sexual and reproductive rights” will only encourage sexual activity among teenagers and result in higher rates of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Adolescent Capacity

UNICEF attempts to justify its push for sexual rights for kids by suggesting that they are already sufficiently developed both physically and psychologically to decide whether or not to have intercourse. This, as any parent of a 14-year-old can tell you, is patent nonsense.

The reason why Peruvian law, like the laws of most countries, considers adolescents under the age of 18 to be “juveniles” is precisely because they do not possess the mental maturity to be considered adults. Why would we exempt matters of sexuality from the general protection that we afford, through parents, guardians, and the law itself, to young people under the age of 18? The earlier the onset of sexual activity, the more likely it is to place the moral, psychological, and physical health of the young at risk. Such a change in the law would weaken existing legal protections against sexual abuse and exploitation currently enjoyed by the young.

The imposition of “sexual and reproductive rights” on Peru’s children should be resisted. The claim that such an agenda serves to “protect childhood and adolescence” is the obverse of the truth. There is nothing more dangerous to the the child than this effort to make him or her, in matters of sexuality, a free agent, unprotected by either the law or parental love.

It is a strange and perverted agenda that has reduced the Convention on the Rights of the Child to this.

Reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.

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David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, on the right.
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All one fight: Why the leader of 40 Days for Life says he may become active in the fight for marriage

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just eight years ago, 40 Days for Life was founded as a pro-life Christian ministry. This year, it reached 252 cities in 19 countries.

Now, says founder and National Director David Bereit, he's discerning whether to expand his personal activism to marriage.

"The various moral issues we confront in our culture today are all intrinsically connected," Bereit told LifeSiteNews at Saturday's March for Marriage. “When you look at the various factors that lead to the breakdown of nations and civilizations, they are moral factors," Bereit said. "It's the devaluing of human life, it's the abandonment of religious belief and practice, it's immorality -- the increase thereof – and it's the breakdown of the family."

"They're all tied into this moving away from God, and America was founded as a nation with Christian principles and ideals that used to say 'In God We Trust.' And the further we've turned away from that, the more we have fallen,” he said. "I believe that with man, turning the tide in our culture is not possible, but with God, all things are possible."

Bereit stressed that his attendance at the March for Marriage, as well as his ongoing process of discernment, was representative only of his own circumstances -- not those of 40 Days for Life, which remains an abortion-focused ministry.

Bereit did not shy away from questions that are often raised about what President Barack Obama called America's “tragic” history.

"America was built on Judeo-Christians principles,“ he said. “There are still fallen people that make up our churches and our communities."

"The question is, will people of faith and conscience turn back to God and do their very best to align themselves with the principles that formed our nation and made our nation such a great place in history?"

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The third annual March for Marriage, which was organized by the National Organization for Marriage and exclusively livestreamed by LifeSiteNews, drew thousands of people, mostly minorities, just three days before what is being billed as the definitive U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue of same-sex "marriage."  

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‘Persecution plain and simple’:  Franklin Graham fundraises for Oregon bakers after GoFundMe shuts them down

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By Ben Johnson

BOONE, NC, April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – First, they were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage” ceremony. Then, a rival business owner convinced GoFundMe.com to stop Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein from raising money to pay the fine on the grounds that, since their religious beliefs violate state law, they are common criminals.

Now, one of the nation's most well-known Christian ministers and philanthropists is coming to their aid.

An administrative law judge fined the Oregon bakers, proprietors of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, $135,000 to pay for the emotional suffering of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer – a lesbian couple who say they feel the Kleins “mentally raped” them.

The Kleins have since closed their Portland-area business and lost substantial income. After hearing of the fine on Friday, Melissa said the amount would financially crush them.

The family opened a GoFundMe page and, within hours, they collected more than $109,000.

Then Lisa Watson, the co-owner of Cupcake Jones in Portland, began lobbying the website to banish the couple's appeal.

“The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting,” Watson wrote on Facebook. She added that the website's “terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign.”

GoFundMe then suspended the Kleins' fundraising.

“While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “However, the subjects of the 'Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa' campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

The day after the announcement Watson, who operates her business with husband Peter Shanky, posted a photo of her 2015 Equality Advocate Award “for outstanding leadership to advanced lived equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians.”

The Kleins hope the website will reconsider. “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions,” the Kleins wrote on Facebook.

That's when the Reverend Franklin Graham and his ministry Samaritan's Purse stepped in, allowing those who wish to alleviate the couple's suffering to donate on its website.

"The fund was created to help persecuted Christians in the U.S., including Aaron and Melissa Klein,” an employee at Samaritan's Purse told LifeSiteNews today. “It was only activated over the weekend and the organization has not yet announced any numbers. Currently, Samaritan's Purse is focused on the earthquake in Nepal and providing relief supplies to people impacted by the disaster.”

Graham praised the Kleins' steadfastness in the face of legal challenges. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” the ministry's founder and president Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children. Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”

“God bless Reverend Franklin Graham,” AFR Talk radio host Bryan Fischer said today. 

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The Kleins will still receive the money raised by GoFundMe, in addition to any supplemental funds raised by Graham's international charitable ministry.

Conservative author Dan Calabrese wrote that “Melissa's Sweet Cakes will not have to go into bankruptcy and the family won't personally be ruined. And what a disappointment that must be to the gay mafia, whose agenda is to intimidate all gay marriage opponents into not just silence but compliance, for fear of just such” an outcome.

Christians have risen to the challenge before. Memories Pizza raised more than $840,000 after the Indiana pizzeria was harassed into closing its doors for saying it would cater a same-sex “wedding.”

Calabrese warns that these victories may lead to more intense anti-Christian persecution.

“When put in an untenable position like this, Christians and others who support their right to operate their business as they see fit will come to their aid. So the gay mafia will take it up a notch, attempting to intimidate the fundraising organizations from cooperating with the effort,” he said.

If that fails, “Maybe they can persuade friendly Democrat lawmakers (or terrified Republicans) to legislate them out of business.”

Readers can donate to the Klein family here.

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Opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ – a deeper love

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By John-Henry Westen

April 27, 2015 (CNSNews.com) -- Same-sex “marriage” – the legal recognition of same-sex relationships – is one of the most contentious issues in America. Laws, constitutional interpretation, and the future of religious liberty may well rest on what nine justices decide two months from now.

Many observers seem to believe that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of redefining marriage. And while many on all sides of the debate, especially those who are undecided, believe this will bring cultural peace, evidence around the world points in the exact opposite direction.

Rather than settle animosity and ease cultural tensions, the advent of same-sex “marriage” will lead to the repression of religious freedom and determination to root out dissent to the gay rights doctrine. At LifeSiteNews, we have watched this play out for nearly two decades in 17 countries around the world – and America is next.

A prime example is Canada. Same-sex “marriage” passed in 2005. Similar to European countries which have done so, there has been a relentless pursuit of the minds of children against the wishes of their parents. Schools, both public and private, were first mandated by law to have gay-straight alliance clubs under the auspices of anti-bullying. Then, sex-education, teaching the normalcy of homosexual sex, was given to children without parents being permitted to opt their children out of the classes.

We have arrived at this state of affairs because of the silence of Christian pulpits on sexual matters, and the concomitant shouting from every secular pulpit, screen and book. Even the current discussion around same-sex “marriage” in the United States reveals a grave reluctance to speak about the heart of the issue – homosexual sex. Rather, arguments are made about the goodness of natural marriage, about its benefit to children, and its unchangeable character.

From reporting on the subject every day for so many years, we knew that the struggle for same-sex “marriage” has very little to do with marriage. In fact, until just recently, gay activists didn’t even want to be “married” to each other. Most had no interest in the constraints that such a formalized union would entail in terms of exclusive partnership.

However, the leaders among the activists convinced the movement that they must attain marriage as a societal stamp of approval to homosexual behavior. And, frankly, they have largely succeeded.

Today, in many of the nations where same-sex “marriage” is law, opposition to it is seen as akin to racism. It is seen falsely as an animosity against someone for who they are—an unwillingness to recognize the human dignity of a class of persons due to an immutable characteristic.

However, that false perception is due to a purposeful agenda to conflate animosity against homosexual sex acts with animosity against persons who experience same-sex attraction. The ancient Christian teaching to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is an impermissible distinction in the minds of some. It is, however, the key to understanding the majority of the opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The plain truth of the matter is that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is rooted not in hatred and bigotry, but just the opposite – in love. Like parents who do not allow children to behave dangerously without lovingly correcting them, opponents of same-sex relationships are hoping to save people with same-sex attractions from severe physical, psychological, and spiritual harm.

Just as, out of love and concern for their children’s welfare, parents must correct and discipline, despite the protests they may get in return, any true believer in marriage, natural law and science must lovingly correct their fellow man.

In other nations, the perception that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is based upon bigotry has led to laws that violate religious liberty, parental rights and freedom of speech. This is why those who oppose same-sex “marriage” must present their reasoning as based on love and concern for the welfare of those in homosexual relationships, in addition to concerns for children and society itself. And there is ample evidence on which to base that concern in the numerous studies showing the grave harm of homosexual sex to both body and psyche.

When I’ve spoken of these findings at conferences around the world, some have questioned if the researchers who showed these harms weren’t themselves biased by anti-gay sentiment. And so I’ve taken to carrying with me on my phone the quotes of the late Canadian gay activist Gens Hellquist, whose testimony proves the harms of gay sex better than any study ever could.

Speaking a year after the passage of same-sex “marriage” into law, Hellquist was seeking more healthcare dollars for the LGBT community. "We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country,” he said. “Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS."

"There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community,” he added. “We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer.”

He concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don't have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don't see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I'm tired of watching my community die."

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Pastors and preachers must take up this call to speak the truth in love, for without this approach, the public will be led to believe that those opposed to same-sex “marriage” are indeed haters needing to be stopped with the force of law. Love is the most powerful force in any argument, and gay “marriage” pushers have used it very effectively. As Hilary Clinton tweeted as she fought religious freedom laws in Indiana: “We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT”

The truth is that those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are showing a deeper love, as any parent does when instilling difficult discipline. We have enough love and concern for those with same-sex attraction to warn them not to engage in behaviors proven to be very harmful. We won’t encourage people to enter into such harmful behaviors by redefining marriage to encourage it, nor will we allow our children to be indoctrinated into regarding it as a healthy and safe alternative lifestyle.

We have failed so far to get this message of love out to the public. I will not be surprised if the Supreme Court approves of same-sex “marriage” – and I will be even less surprised to see a subsequent  crackdown on religious freedom, as already seen in states like California and Colorado.

Pope Benedict XVI predicted it a decade ago. Observing the international trends, the then-Cardinal said “very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS News

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