VATICAN, December 19, 2008 ( – The Vatican’s permanent observer at the UN has opposed a resolution that decries discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation and gender identity.” Archbishop Celestino Migliore said that the Holy See endorsed the proposal’s condemnation of violence against homosexuals, and agrees with the call “to put an end to all criminal penalties against them.” 

However, the archbishop said, the non-binding resolution – introduced by France and the Netherlands, and endorsed by 66 UN member-states – “goes well beyond the above-mentioned and shared intent.” He explained that the terms “sexual orientation and gender identity” are not recognized in international law, and the passage of a resolution using those terms “would create serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of states to enter into and enforce new and existing human-rights conventions and standards.”
  The Vatican envoy had expressed concern that adoption of the resolution could lead to new policies that would have an adverse impact on the family. He told a French reporter that he feared “states that do not recognize same-sex unions as marriages will be pilloried and subjected to political pressure.”
  The UN resolution was opposed by Islamic countries, whose ambassadors denounced the acceptance of homosexual behavior. The US declined to endorse the measure. Nearly 60 nations joined in an alternative resolution, which condemned “all forms of stereotyping, exclusion, stigmatization, prejudice, intolerance and discrimination and violence directed against peoples, communities and individuals on any ground whatsoever, wherever they occur,” but stated that nations have the right to uphold their own moral standards and to protect the family.  (see coverage: )
  The alternative resolution cautioned that anti-discrimination measures should not be used to invent new categories of civil rights. Earlier this week, at a UN meeting in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi had issued a similar warning against the temptation to create “new” human rights, “to promote mere desires and measures that, in turn, become a source of discrimination and injustice and the fruit of self-serving ideologies.” 


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