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(LifeSiteNews) – The United Nations has announced an upcoming report positing a new framework for thinking about the tensions between religious freedom and LGBT interests, which religious freedom experts predict will give advocates of the latter a new tool for diminishing the former.

Last month, the UN issued a call for “all interested States, civil society organizations, faith-based institutions, faith leaders, academics, international organizations, national human rights institutions, activists, corporations, and others” to give feedback on a UN Independent Expert report on “freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI),” slated for release in June.

“The report will examine long-established and emerging discourses driving perceived contradictions between FoRB and freedom from violence and discrimination based on SOGI, with reference to legal concepts such as conscientious objection, reasonable accommodation for religious beliefs, and anti-discrimination law and public policies,” the announcement says. It will explore the “potential for the two to limit one another, as well as synergies between the two frameworks,” ultimately to “provide legal and political narratives to shift away from zero-sum analysis and to reconcile the theoretical bases for due enjoyment of human rights by all persons.”

The announcement is written with a heavy presumption that affirmation of religious freedom impairs LGBT “rights,” with negative influence in the opposite direction ignored. It also claims that “many anti-LGBT+ attitudes apparent in some strands of religious belief systems today are of relatively recent origin,” and that many religious denominations “have embraced (or re-embraced) LGBT+ identities and consider freedom from violence and discrimination based on SOGI as an essential tenant of their faith.”

“The IE SOGI’s thematic report aims to introduce voices from LGBT-inclusive belief systems, indigenous communities, and LGBT+ communities of faith as key stakeholders,” the UN says. “The IE SOGI also intends to open a space within human rights discourse and practice to better recognize and protect LGBT+ persons’ access to faith and spirituality, as persons free and equal in dignity and rights, and their access to spirituality in accordance with their own right to freedom of religion or belief.”

Over the weekend, the Daily Caller published reactions from religion and family experts warning about what they see as the planned report’s true purpose.

“My biggest concern is the premise of the report which seems to suggest that freedom of religion and rights based on sexual orientation are the same,” said Grace Melton, senior associate of the Heritage Foundation’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family. “But certainly as a function of international law, they are not the same. Freedom of religion or belief, or freedom of conscience, is an internationally protected human right. It’s codified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is a legally binding treaty.”

“Despite saying that we shouldn’t have these rights pitted against one another, but when you keep reading on you see that the author of the report really does see [rights and religion] as being in conflict,” added Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, a fellow at Catholic University of America’s Institute for Human Ecology. “I think it’s important that the foundation of the question of human rights is that these are universally shared rights, that we share not by nature of any affinities but because of our humanity and the right to religious freedom … that’s a right that each and every human being possesses.”

“This narrative is not only harmful because it could make people doubt the importance of religion in their own lives and their communities, but it’s also harmful because it will undermine really important social protection,” she continued. “Religion and religious freedom is a stabilizing presence, and for the cases where religion is being misused to oppress, the answer isn’t to shut down religion entirely.”