Just what the nation needed. Another anti-LGBT anti-choice conservative Catholic organization. This one is called Civil Society for the Family. Its primary organizers seem to be Austin Ruse’s C-Fam and Brian Brown’s National Organization for Marriage. C-Fam is a designated hate group. NOM is working on it. The new group consists of a website (it is not a non-profit entity). They have authored an official platform for U.N. consumption.

There is nothing very civil about some of this:

4. International law further establishes that the family is formed through the union of a man and a woman who exercise their right to freely “marry and found a family.” This fundamental right is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and binding international instruments.

5. Relations between individuals of the same sex and other social and legal arrangements that are neither equivalent nor analogous to the family are not entitled to the protections singularly reserved for the family in international law and policy.

To some extent the above is true but should not constitute a paradigm for a civil society. Many African nations and the entire Muslim world are anti-gay for the same reasons that Brian Brown and Austin Ruse are anti-gay: Religion. Ruse in particular will claim that he is not homophobic. Rather he will likely assert that he is in favor of traditional marriage.

If someone is opposed to marriage equality then it is hard not to assign anti-gay sentiments. In all the years leading up to Obergefell not one person was able to objectively demonstrate that same-sex marriage has any effect on so-called traditional marriage. To this day they cannot make a compelling case. Therefore, the belief that same-sex marriage is unequal or should not be permitted is irrational according to the true meaning of the word.

8. Acts and declarations by UN entities and mandate holders that treat relations between individuals of the same sex as equivalent or analogous to the family, including acts and declarations purporting the existence of international human rights obligations on the basis of “sexual orientation and gender identity” are ultra vires and cannot give rise to binding legal obligations on sovereign states. Such acts and declarations are not based on valid interpretations of international law and policy, and cannot contribute to the formation of new customary international law.

Ultra vires means beyond one’s authority. Their definition of international law is both archaic and limited. International law can be formed through treaties between states or groups of states. The United Nations is authorized to engage in forming treaty relationships that then constitute international law among the member states. This in turn confers responsibilities on individuals who could be held accountable for violations of human rights. Ultimately that is what creates a problem for folks like Ruse and Brown and for the Vatican. The last sentence is flat-out wrong. The United Nations does have the power to alter international law.

9. International law protects all children equally, even when they are deprived of their family. It does not require sovereign states to extend the specific protections reserved for the family in international law and policy to social and legal arrangements that are neither equivalent nor analogous to the family.

To do so would threaten and undermine the fundamental human right of children to know and be cared for by their mother and father, and may jeopardize their health and wellbeing.

The first paragraph of the above is reasonably true. The second paragraph is nonsense and has been thoroughly litigated in the United States and other countries that recognize same-sex marriage.

10. UN resolutions, declarations, and conference outcomes should continue to reflect the definition of the family in international law and never use language that implicitly or explicitly attempts to dilute, erode, or undermine it. Any such language is incompatible with international human rights law and its use may constitute a violation of the fundamental human rights it enshrines.

Zero-sum gibberish. It is the notion that rights for LGBT people take away rights from others.In a sense that presupposes that people have a right to discriminate.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.