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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Springtime! Libya goes on homophobic rant at UNHRC

From UN Watch:

Gays threaten the continuation of the human race, Libya’s delegate told a planning meeting of the UN Human Rights Council today, reported the Geneva-based UN Watch monitoring group. It was the first appearance in the 47-nation body by the post-Gaddafi government, whose membership was restored in November following Libya’s suspension in March.

Protesting the council’s first panel discussion on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, scheduled for March 7th, Libya’s representative told the gathering of ambassadors today that LGBT topics “affect religion and the continuation and reproduction of the human race.” He added that, were it not for their suspension, Libya would have opposed the council’s June 2011 resolution on the topic.

In response, council president Laura Dupuy Lasserre said that “the Human Rights Council is here to defend human rights and prevent discrimination.”

The Libyan outburst prompted questions by human rights activists about Libya’s reinstatement on the council.

“We were happy to see the Gaddafi regime finally suspended last year,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which in 2010 led a campaign of 70 human rights groups to expel the Libyan dictator.

“Yet today’s shocking homophobic outburst by the new Libyan government, together with the routine abuse of prisoners, underscores the serious questions we have about whether the new regime is genuinely committed to improving on the dark record of its predecessor, or to pandering to some of the hardline Islamists amidst its ranks,” said Neuer.
Libya's new draft constitution says that Sharia is the principle source for legislation. It also says that "the State shall also protect and encourage marriage."