Published on
by
The Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado)

Bad Company: US Fails Gay, Lesbian Citizens

by
Clay Evans

You can hardly blame the gay-and-lesbian community for being upset these days.

President-elect Barack Obama, for whose election many members of the gay community worked hard, has invited the Rev. Rick Warren -- who has compared gay marriage to incest and child rape -- to deliver the inaugural invocation. (And don't get us started on Warren's spittle-flecked support of Republican overreaching in the tragic case of Terry Schiavo in 2005; he compared removing the brain-dead woman's feeding tube to Nazism).

Meanwhile, over at the U.N., the United States stood alone among major Western nations in refusing to sign a nonbinding declaration calling for a worldwide decriminalization of homosexual activity.

The U.S. mission to the U.N. said it continued to condemn human-rights violations toward homosexuals, but claimed it couldn't sign because it could conflict with state laws. In some states, incredibly, it is still legal for landlords and employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

So with whom did America stand? Democratic stalwarts such as Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Sudan and four other nations that don't just deny housing to gay people -- they execute them.

The U.S. refusal to join its more courageous Western counterparts to protect gay people is by far worse than the Warren prayer. Warren, a long-time acquaintance of Obama's, isn't joining the cabinet; after the inauguration, he'll go back to his mega-church where he can preach anti-gay rhetoric to the converted.

Here's hoping the president-elect will demonstrate his support of the gay and lesbian community by reversing the official U.S. position at the United Nations.

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Clay Evans is guest columnist for the Daily Camera

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