UN Anti-Discrimination report Proposes to limit religious Freedom
The so-called SOGI report from the UN, made public on the 15th of June, proposes to limit freedom of conscience and religious freedom, to avoid discrimination against the LGBT community. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) expressed worry about the implications of this report in a statement, which has also been supported by the World Evangelical Alliance and the European Evangelical Alliance.
Costa Rican lawyer Victor Madrigal-Borloz, who works for the UN as an expert on LGBT discrimination, reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21. In his report to the council, Madrigal-Borloz blamed "religious communities" for "violence, discrimination and exclusion" toward gays, lesbians, bisexual and trans-identified people. While the report does not establish any new U.N. policy or guidelines, the report does present recommendations based on its findings.
According to the statement published by the CNEF, the freedom to employ whom they want, the exercise of conscientious objection and the freedom of education are particularly threatened by the report.
The Christian organisations also consider that the report is calling for "state interference in the doctrinal autonomy of religions, in particular around the notion of sin." Another worry is that the report is "an incorrect interpretation of the principle of non-discrimination required of religious organisations."
Even if the report has no direct legal effect in UN member states, the World Evangelical Alliance and the European Evangelical Alliance are concerned about some of its conclusions, which can lead to limitations of Religious Freedom in European countries.
In their last paragraph, the organisations make the following statement:
"Like the World Evangelical Alliance and the European Evangelical Alliance, the CNEF is firmly committed to a pluralist society where everyone can live in peace in accordance with their personal convictions, whether these relate to sexual orientation, gender identity or religious convictions. It is also opposed to any form of violence or discrimination. In this way, we want fundamental freedoms to be mutually enriched rather than restricted."
Arielle Del Turco, the director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the socially conservative advocacy organization Family Research Council also finds this report and its presentation by Madriga-Borloz deeply troubling. She pointed to one section of the U.N. report titled "hate speech and incitement," which includes a discussion on how religious communities discuss LGBT topics. "For example, when Christian communities talk about sin, according to their reading of the Bible, that's a problem to these LGBT activists who are now running the United Nations," she said.
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