The GOP-Islamic Alliance Against the Gays


The anti-gay contingent of the Republican Party has found some strange new bedfellows. Foreign Policy‘s Colum Lynch reports that some House Republicans are coming to the defense of some of the United Nations’ most conservative Islamic governments who want to exclude the U.S.-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission from participating in UN meetings. The Republican attack comes as the Obama administration has made a push for the LGBT group’s UN accreditation, which would allow them to participate in UN meetings on human rights, health, and other issues, alongside thousands of other non-governmental organizations. Lynch explains:

Congressional Republicans Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az) have rallied behind a coalition of Islamic governments urging foreign governments to oppose a U.S.-led effort to support a bid by an American gay and lesbian organization to gain full-fledged membership as a U.N. nongovernment organization… In a letter to U.N. members, Smith and Franks expressed concern that the U.S. initiative would improperly bypass a U.N. committee, which is dominated by socially conservative Islamic governments, that normally accredits U.N. NGOs…

In criticizing the current U.S. position, Smith and Franks drew upon arguments presented by Egypt and other conservative governments that allow little freedom of expression on their own soil….Egypt’s representative, Wael Attiya, raised concern back in June that such principles could be used to subject religious leaders, who condemn homosexual behavior, to be persecuted. If a “preacher says that a relationship between same sex [couples] is wrong, will the preacher be hunted,” he said in June.

So this appears to be one of those times when conservative anti-gay paranoia trumps conservative anti-Islam paranoia. It’s a particularly bold move for Franks, who was among the House Republicans who demanded that the chamber’s sergeant-at-arms investigate the possibility of “Muslim intern spies” infiltrating congressional offices on Capitol Hill. But when it comes to rallying against the gays, some GOP social conservatives have decided that the enemy of your enemy really should be your friend.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.