Obama’s Gay Rights Push ‘Distressing,’ Says So. Baptist Leader

By Michelle A. Vu | Christian Post Reporter

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s role in the accreditation of a U.S.-based gay rights group by the United Nations is “distressing,” says a Southern Baptist public policy leader.

After strong lobbying from the Obama administration, the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission was given consultative status by the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Monday. ECOSOC voted 23-13, with 13 abstentions, to allow the gay rights group to attend U.N. meetings and submit statements to U.N. agencies and governments.

“It is extremely distressing that the Obama administration would exert extraordinary pressure on the United Nations to gain membership for a group that is so obviously opposed to the foundational American principle of freedom of speech,” said Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research at The Ethics Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, on Friday.

Duke told The Christian Post that the IGLHRC’s admittance into the United Nations serves as a reminder of why it is important for evangelical groups to also engage with the global body. The ERLC, noted Duke, also has consultative status with the United Nations with the purpose of making the evangelical perspective known to the United Nations as it develops policies.

IGLHRC had applied for consultative status with the ECOSOC since 2007. The group credits the U.S. government for their admittance, noting how it stood “strongly behind” its application for its approval. Fourteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives and four senators sent letters to all U.N. member states to support IGLHRC’s application, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Read more at CPost

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