In 2008, shortly after he was elected president of the United States, Barack Obama’s new representative to the United Nations was supporting a provision in closed UN negotiations endorsing a radical document called the “International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights.” Among other things, these guidelines call for the legalization of prostitution and same-sex marriage, and graphic sexuality education for children in all nations.
When confronted by the president of Family Watch International who asked why the Obama administration was supporting the International Guidelines, especially since during his campaign Obama had said he was against same-sex marriage, the U.S. representative responded, “We have been instructed to support it.”
So, almost from the first days of his administration, President Obama was saying one thing at home and pushing totally opposite policies at the United Nations. Thus signaled what has been a drastic, across-the-board shift in U.S. policy positions on family issues at the United Nations—away from protecting the family as the U.S. had done under the Bush administration—and embarking on an aggressive course to force the radical and highly controversial “sexual rights” agenda on nations around the world.
In doing so the U.S. operated in an arrogant and often bullying manner on these issues and showed an insensitivity and lack of concern toward deeply held religious and cultural beliefs in Islamic and African nations. In short, the Obama administration, since its inception, has been engaging in cultural imperialism at its worst.
It should not be surprising, then, that this radical shift in U.S. foreign policy is generating growing resistance, resentment and anger in these nations.
Most Americans are unaware that President Obama has issued a directive to all U.S. embassies and agencies engaged in foreign activities to make advancing LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) “rights” a “top priority.” Very few are aware of the harm this directive is doing to U.S foreign policy interests in countries around the world.
Disturbing events in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. citizens were brutally murdered, generated intense national attention in the U.S. Multiple protests erupted in other Arab and Islamic countries. In light of the widespread protests in the Middle East one has to question the wisdom of Obama’s foreign policy priority to promote sexual rights abroad especially in countries like Libya. Is it possible that Obama’s aggressive support of the international sexual rights agenda has contributed to the hostile anti-American environment in these countries?
Cultural Imperialism: The Sexual Rights Agenda was created in response to the growing number of complaints from diplomats in Islamic and African countries who are extremely upset with the Obama administration’s attempts to impose his sexual rights agenda on their people. A number of these diplomats expressed to Family Watch International staff and others their hope that if Obama’s aggressive pursuit of the sexual rights agenda were exposed to the American people, citizens would take action to stop him.
In an Islamic country like Libya, where homosexual behavior is a punishable offense, publicly issuing a White House directive to all U.S. agencies and ambassadors, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, instructing them to advance LGBT rights in the countries where they serve was certain to generate intense opposition and resentment.
Some examples of this backlash have been widely reported. Undoubtedly, some countries are afraid to push back for fear of losing U.S. aid money. In June 2011, for example, to celebrate what Obama proclaimed was “Gay Pride” month, the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan held a “Gay Pride” event to promote LGBT rights in Pakistan. This blatant, in-your-face attack on Islamic teachings and culture fueled anti-American sentiment at the time and initiated major protests throughout Pakistan. It also led to official condemnation of the U.S. promotion of LGBT rights in Pakistan in the national legislature. Pakistan’s largest Islamist party labeled this U.S. sponsored event an act of “social and cultural terrorism.”
In December 2011, at a UN event celebrating International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced, “Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.” She then carefully laid out President Obama’s aggressive campaign to promote “LGBT rights” worldwide. In doing so, Mrs. Clinton completely ignored the widespread position held by many UN Member States that while homosexuals, like all people, deserve to have their basic human rights protected, they do not qualify for special human rights based on their sexual behavior alone. This position is strongly upheld by both Christian and Islamic religious teachings, cultural norms and mores, yet Clinton categorically dismissed that fact and likely created even more resentment toward the United States.
One example of the pushback was a particularly eloquent and thoughtful speech at a UN conference by a Nigerian diplomat speaking on behalf of the African voting bloc.
Here are some excerpts from that speech:
“. . . The heads of states of governments of the African Union adopted by consensus a decision on shared values during its summit in Kampala, Uganda, on July 2010 . . . resolved not to accept or integrate concepts which have not been universally defined and accepted in international human rights law. The African leaders thereby rescind the obsession by other regions or groups to impose their own value system on other regions which are not shared by such regions.”
“The African Group does not support the current haphazard and disjointed manner in which virtually the thematic special procedures of the human rights council have many references to the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity . . . we do not want any discrimination against anybody under any condition whether sexual or otherwise. But we have to state clearly and forcefully that this concept stands against everything we stand for in Africa . . . For the Western countries it may be that it does not matter anymore because going to church there means preparing to die and not for the living… Our own concept of children is that children come from the combination of the man and the wife, under the family husband and wife. It also touches on what we regard as family because for us family stands at the heart of everything we do. We live for the family.”
“. . . right now every issue, every mandate holder, every discussion reduces the problem of Africa just to sexual orientation. It is unforgiving and unfair. And finally, we have to state clearly, that our leaders as African heads of State and governments clearly stated that every nation has the right to protect its culture and issues of life. That is every nation, particularly the African regions has the right of their culture and religions. And finally, no culture of that group should be imposed on the other. In effect, we do not hold for those that want sexual orientation to be a way of life in their cities and villages, any construct, but what we are emphasizing is that you maintain your way of life while we maintain our own.”
While Obama’s initiative was ostensibly aimed at preventing violence against homosexuals and transgenders—an objective on which there is already wide international agreement—his initiative does not stop there. Based on Mrs. Clinton’s speech, Obama’s initiative clearly is also intended to pressure developing countries using strong-arm tactics to mainstream homosexual and transgender behavior and “rights” into their societies by changing their national laws and policies. This announcement naturally increased resentment against the United States in Islamic countries and other countries that also oppose the sexual rights agenda.
Bullying and Blackmail: Obama Threatens Developing Countries with Withdrawal of Humanitarian AID
Obama’s directive states its intent to “expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct.” However, in very carefully worded terms, Obama’s directive also reveals its plans to do what officials from developing countries have reported that the Obama administration has already been doing since taking office, that is threatening to withdraw U.S. financial aid to vulnerable countries unless they advance LGBT rights in their laws.
In section three of the Obama executive order, titled, “Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and Advance Nondiscrimination,” it states that “Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development shall enhance their ongoing efforts to ensure regular Federal Government engagement with governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector in order to build respect for the human rights of LGBT persons.” (Emphasis added.)
This White House directive is intended to be observed by all U.S. “agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development,” including “the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export Import Bank, the United States Trade Representative, and such other agencies as the President may designate.”
And while the Obama administration claims that this directive should not be interpreted to mean his administration will be blackmailing poor countries unless they accept LGBT “rights,” foreign officials, informally have reported that this is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing in some countries.
In addition, this administration has not been forthcoming with the details of the implementation of this policy. Obama’s administration still has not produced documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in February 2011 asking for copies of all communications between the U.S. government and foreign embassies relating to discussions on sexual rights and sexual orientation. The U.S. government has acknowledged that many documents exist but, despite repeated requests, has not made this information available.
As part of Obama’s directive, each U.S. embassy and the departments listed previously were required to report within 90 days what they had done to promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights in the countries in which they work. A number of U.S. ambassadors have boasted on their websites about the ways they have implemented this directive with U.S. tax dollars. In one case, the U.S. government even funded a concert by Lady Gaga to promote LGBT rights.
Also adding additional fuel to the fire, as part of Obama’s new sexual rights initiative, Hillary Clinton announced that the Obama administration has set aside $3 million in U.S. tax dollars to fund LGBT activists groups in foreign countries.
And finally, to make the Obama foreign policy initiative even more infuriating to many foreign governments, the Obama policy allows LGBT rights groups to determine what constitutes “discrimination, homophobia and intolerance.” These organizations are to be given funding and training to document anything they consider to be a violation of their claimed human rights.
LGBT activists around the world already claim their “rights” are violated by laws protecting man/woman marriage, laws preferring mother/father families for adopted children, and sex-ed curricula in schools that do not also teach the mechanics of homosexual sex. Many of these activists also consider any kind of therapy for people seeking help for unwanted same-sex attraction to be a human rights violation. And, finally, they believe any religion that teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong or that it can be harmful is in violation of human rights law.
No one should be misled by what is at stake here. What the Obama directive actually does is to direct all U.S. agencies to pressure countries to not only legalize and destigmatize LGBT sexual behavior but to also encourage countries to embrace LGBT lifestyles. Below is the continuum of laws that will likely be pushed through Obama’s initiative:
1. Decriminalizing homosexual behavior in the countries where it is illegal. (This is necessary to be able to implement the rest of the list below because once homosexual sex is legal, governments can be pressured to grant special rights based on that behavior. As long as it remains illegal, at least as a civil offense, the rest of the LGBT agenda can never be realized.)
2. Prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in housing or employment, regardless of the nature of the job.
3. Enacting “hate crimes” laws that criminalize criticism of same-sex behavior.
4. Legalizing civil unions or domestic partnerships.
5. Legalizing same-sex marriage.
6. Legalizing same-sex adoption.
7. Mandating comprehensive sexuality education in public schools, which teaches children that homosexual behavior is healthy and normal. (The Obama administration has been aggressively pushing for language in UN documents mandating countries to provide comprehensive sexuality education.)
Demonstrating Contempt for the Culture and Religious Tradition of Other Countries—Making Even More Enemies Abroad
As proof that the Obama administration’s initiative is intended to pursue other elements of the sexual rights agenda beyond pressuring countries to prohibit violence against LGBT people, we need look no further than what the administration has already done. In addition to hosting the “Gay Pride” event in Pakistan, here are a few more examples:
- In June 2010, Mari Carmen Aponte, the ambassador Obama appointed to El Salvador, angered Salvadorans by writing an op-ed in a major newspaper encouraging their people to accept homosexuality. Her letter caused an uproar, and a group of Salvadoran people complained that Ms. Aponte’s action was “in clear violation of the rules of diplomacy and international law” and that she was imposing on Salvadorans “a new vision of foreign and bizarre values, completely alien to our moral fiber, intending to disguise this as ‘human rights.’”
- U.S. embassies have hosted “Gay Pride” events in Hungary and Kenya resulting in particularly strong negative reactions, and U.S. ambassadors have also marched in “Gay Pride” events in Iceland and in the Czech Republic.
- The Obama administration itself has issued a fact sheet boasting about advancing LGBT rights across the world and in the U.S. It is one thing to champion LGBT rights; it is clearly another thing to try to force them on U.S. allies and friends through blackmail, bullying and intimidation.
In closed negotiations away from the eyes of the American people, the Obama administration has established a pattern of promoting controversial sexual rights, including a major push for mandatory, explicit “comprehensive sexuality education” in cooperation with International Planned Parenthood Federation and other radical international sexual rights advocacy organizations. (See “Targeting Children” section on this website)
A number of UN representatives from developing nations have reported that the U.S. Department of State calls officials in their capitals to threaten and pressure them to accept provisions in UN documents under negotiation to protect “sexual orientation” and other sexual “rights.”
The Use of “Combatting Violence” Rhetoric as a Trojan Horse
The Obama administration has been very clever in labeling its push for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights as the protection of basic “human rights,” and specifically the human right to be free from violence. However, the actions of U.S. ambassadors and embassies carrying out his directive go way beyond just protecting people from violence.
We wholeheartedly support the Obama administration in condemning violence and hatred against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or for any other reason. However, we condemn the administration’s actions to threaten developing countries with the withdrawal of essential aid if they fail to change their laws to not only protect the lives of LGBT people from violence but also “respect” and “promote” controversial and unhealthy lifestyles—lifestyles that violate the religious and cultural values of many nations around the world and of many Americans as well. International law already prohibits violence against people regardless of their sexual orientation.
Obama Administration Pressures Developing Countries at the United Nations
In 2011, the Obama administration led an effort to gather signatures on a UN statement seeking to advance sexual orientation and gender identity. Hillary Clinton boasted that the U.S. was instrumental in getting more than 80 countries to sign the petition. A number of African UN delegates reported receiving threats and intense pressure from the U.S. to force them to sign the statement, which the Obama administration claimed was a huge victory for LGBT rights.
Obama Administration Pressures the UN Human Rights Council
In 2011, the Obama administration exerted intense pressure on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to support a resolution ostensibly proposed by South Africa (but actually spearheaded by the United States and several European countries behind the scenes). This resolution requested that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights conduct a study “to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation.” This was the first time an official UN document negotiated by a group of UN member states (although only those that are members of the Human Rights Council) had ever included the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Also in 2011, as called for by the U.S.-backed HRC resolution, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on “human rights” violations based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Unfortunately, rather than focus on preventing violence against LGBT individuals, which was the intent of the Human Rights Council’s mandate, the report builds on the Commissioner’s 2010-2011 strategic plan to have the world “embrace sexual minorities.” The report does this by falsely claiming that international human rights law requires UN Member States to mainstream acceptance of LGBT behavior in every aspect of society, allegedly to prevent “discrimination.” A policy brief outlining the serious problems with the OHCHR Report on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is posted here.
A Call to Government Officials and Responsible Citizens
Stand for Families Worldwide is a coalition that is taking the lead in raising awareness of the Obama administration’s aggressive advocacy of the sexual rights agenda and its bullying and intimidation tactics. The ultimate goal of this coalition is to get the U.S. Congress to stop the bullying and intimidation that is currently taking place. Even if you are not a U.S. citizen, please sign the petition and encourage others to watch the Cultural Imperialism documentary and then to sign the petition as well. Also, please do whatever you can to circulate the documentary in your country. The U.S. Congress needs to hear from people all around the world that the Obama administration’s cultural imperialism must stop. Send the link to this website to as many people as you can, including family members, your children, your spouse, your cousins, co-workers, church groups, club members, etc.