I’ll say this for the Bush administration. They can still surprise me. Back in January I posted about how the Bush administration backed an Iranian initiative to block U.N. access to gay human rights groups.
But apparently there’s been an about face, of sorts. As other countries again lined up to deny consultative access to a gay human rights group (this time a German organization), the U.S. parted ways with countries agreed with just months ago, and voted along with France to support U.N. access for a gay organization.
United Nations member states again voted to deny a gay group the ability to officially influence proceedings, but the United States is once again backing the group’s effort to be included, according an international human rights organization.
Mark Bromley, a spokesman for Global Rights, said United Nations members voted May 16 to deny a German gay organization’s bid to obtain consultative status. The status is required for any organization hoping to speak at United Nations meetings, or lobby member nations.
… According to Global Rights, nine nations voted to reject the German group’s application. Opponents included China and Iran.
France and the U.S. were among the seven nations that voted to support the application. Two countries — India and Turkey — abstained.
Bromley said it was significant that U.S. officials voted May 16 to support the German group’s application. In a vote earlier this year, U.S. officials opposed applications by gay-focused groups.
“I think that sort of the big change from our perspective — and the small victory — is that the U.S. government changed its vote,” he said. “That’s a real step forward.”
It is a real step forward, but I can’t help looking a gift-horse in the mouth here and asking just what has changed for the Bush administration since January? Besides poll number, that is. Or maybe that’s it.
Ya gotta admit, it’s a little confusing to listen to the major parties on gay issues right now.
I mean, on the one hand, you’ve got the Democrat’s runing away from their gay constituency. As far as they can get, anyway. And while Russ Feingold walks the walk as well as talk the talk, he pretty much seems to stand alone right now.
On the other hand, you’ve got Mary Cheney finally speaking out against the Federal Marriage Amendment. (And against the presidential ticket that opposed the amendment, the ticket she worked to defeat.) Plus there’s Laura chiming in against it too.
It’s almost enough to make you think that someone in the GOP is trying to subtly court gay & lesbian voters. After all, it’s unlikely that anybody but gay people are like to care how if the U.N. grants access to gay groups, let alone pay attention to the news on that topic. So such a move by the U.S. — even if not successful at the U.N. — could send a signal to some reluctant gay voters who might otherwise be inclined to vote GOP.
Maybe both parties are trying to have it both ways, then. The Republicans can afford to lose a U.N . vote if it sends a positive signal to gay voters in a year when the the ‘Pubs need all the support they can get, while keeping their base happy by bringing the FMA to a vote in the Senate. Meanwhile Dean can court Pat Robertson’s herd, while talking about gays out of both sides of his mouth just enough to keep most of them in the party.
Just a theory, anyway.