- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I wonder how the United Nations would feel about instituting President Obama’s transgender bathroom guidance in their New York City headquarters.

If it’s policy blocking gay and transgender groups from attending its next meeting regarding the AIDS epidemic is any indication, it’s safe to say the U.N. wouldn’t be too keen on the idea.

A group of 51 Muslim states has banned 11 gay and transgender organizations from participating in a high-level meeting at the U.N. next month about ending AIDS, according to a report from the Guardian.

“Egypt wrote to the president of the 193-member general assembly on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to object to the participation of the 11 groups,” the Guardian reported. “The issues of LGBT rights and participation in events at the U.N. have long been contentious. The U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has advocated for LGBT equality but faced opposition from African, Arab and Muslim states as well as Russia and China.”

It seems as though other countries aren’t so open-minded on transgender rights.

Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has taken issue with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups being blocked from the meeting and wrote to the UN’s general assembly President Morgens Lykketoft: “Given that transgender people are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population, their exclusion from the high-level meeting will only impede global progress in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

“We are deeply concerned that at every negotiation on a new general assembly gathering, the matter of NGO [non-governmental organization] participation is questioned and scrutinized,” Mrs. Power wrote.

Hmm. She wants the decision to be “questioned and scrutinized.” The language seems pretty soft, especially compared to the words President Obama has used to criticize Republicans for their opposition to his transgender bathroom policy.

In an interview Monday with Buzzfeed News, Mr. Obama said anyone opposed to his bathroom directive, in essence, supported childhood bullying.

“We’re talking about kids, and anybody who’s been in school, been in high school, who’s been a parent, I think should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority — kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender — are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially they are vulnerable,” Mr. Obama said. “I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they’re protected and that their dignity is affirmed.”

Then Wednesday, after further criticism of the issued order, White Press Secretary Josh Earnest called out Republicans for being obsessed with sex.

“It’s Republicans in the Congress that have created a special congressional committee to take a look at Planned Parenthood,” Mr. Earnest said. “It’s Republicans who have sued the administration over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including as it relates to women being able to get access to their birth control.”

Officials in several states have said they will fight the administration’s guidance, which requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom relating to their gender identity rather than the gender on their birth certificate. Schools that don’t comply with the directive face the risk of losing federal funding.

U.S. taxpayers fund more than one-fifth of the U.N.’s budget, yet no funding threats are issued after confirmed reports of LGBT mistreatment and murdering from member nations.

For example, in Saudi Arabia, if a person comes out online, they could face the death penalty. In Russia, president Vladimir Putin signed an anti-gay law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” In Turkey, top government officials have called being gay a “disease” and films frequently depict the murder of LGBT persons as “honor killings.”

And in Iraq, Ayatollah Sistani, the most influential jurist in Shiite Islam, has called for homosexuals to be “killed in the worst manner possible.”

If Mr. Obama really wants to improve the rights of LGBT persons, he should look externally and take a hard line against those countries that are murdering this population on a daily basis, instead of looking internally and picking a fight with Republicans.

Everything else is just pandering to Mr. Obama’s Hollywood, liberal, wide-eyed millennial base who are either as ignorant or as self-involved to believe the greatest injustices of the world are happening right here at home.


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