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Homosexual activists work globally to force acceptance and to gain special rights

WASHINGTON (BP)–The homosexual rights movement, more than just a U.S. phenomenon, poses a mounting worldwide threat to Christian liberty and free speech rights, warns Peter LaBarbera, senior policy analyst with the Culture and Family Institute in Washington, D.C.

Among the many organizations around the world promoting homosexual rights is the International Lesbian and Gay Association, a 25-year-old organization based in Belgium, touting 350 member groups in 80 countries.

The ILGA organizes world and regional conferences and promotes a range of initiatives to “focus public and government attention on cases of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people by supporting programs and protest actions, asserting diplomatic pressure, providing information and working with international organizations and the international media,” according to its website.

Several cases in neighboring Canada illustrate what is happening in various dimensions of a global push for homosexual rights, LaBarbera told Baptist Press in an interview.

The Canadian Catholic News, in its issue for the week of March 3, is reporting that a House of Commons committee studying same-sex marriage will hold hearings in 11 cities in April.

The committee is considering whether Canada’s Parliament should recognize same-sex unions, according to the News, which noted that the committee authorized a travel budget of $347,000 for the spring hearings.

The move comes on the heels of a pro-homosexual Canadian Supreme Court ruling in late December overturning a British Columbia school board’s ban on a kindergarten teacher’s plan to use three pro-homosexual books with students.

In a 7-2 ruling in late December, the justices said the board must reconsider its decision, according to the February issue of Christianity Today.

Two other Canadian cases involve men cited by human rights commissions for anti-homosexual speech. Although one was resolved amicably, Alberta pastor Stephen Boissoin is still facing charges after a professor filed a complaint against him for writing a letter to the editor, LaBarbera said.

A minister in the Canadian Evangelical Christian Church who has ministered to troubled youth for a decade, Boissoin wrote to his local newspaper, “My banner has now been raised and war has been declared. Your teenagers are being instructed on how to perform so-called safe, same-gender oral and anal sex by perverse, self-centered and morally depraved individuals who are spreading their psychological disease into every area of our lives.”

That prompted Darren Lund, assistant professor of education at the University of Calgary, to file a complaint with the Alberta government.

Soon after, hackers destroyed Boissoin’s website and replaced it with a page featuring his picture and the words, “Pastor Looking for Sexual Adventures,” LaBarbera said.

The case is chilling, LaBarbera said, as homosexual activists are willing to trample on parental rights to caution children about morally deviant practices.

He warned what is happening north of the border will soon be tried in the United States.

“In Canada we already see laws [limiting speech] and where people have been directly persecuted for speaking out,” LaBarbera said. “A guy writes a letter to the editor and he’s being investigated by the human rights commission? You can easily see where this is spreading and becoming stronger.”

The goal, he said, is to stigmatize Christians and make it more unlikely that people will speak out against homosexuality.

Nor is this goal limited to North America, LaBarbera added, citing various reports from overseas:

— On Feb. 11, a European Parliament majority voted to recognize registered partnerships, cohabitation contracts and homosexual marriages across the European Union, according to a report carried by the Dutch Associated Press.

The recommendation implied that a same-sex couple who married in the Netherlands could then obtain a residence permit if they moved to Italy, according to the news service.

The vote follows a story last summer about European Union Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen proclaiming former Eastern Bloc nations that want to join will be expected to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Verheugen said equal treatment of homosexuals and lesbians is a basic EU principle, according to an International News Report article. The wire service said the comments were believed to be directed at nations like Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Hungary and Lithuania — part of a group expected to expand the federation to 25 nations next year.

— Last year, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Organization organized a hearing in Slovenia related to the EU enlargement. Among its objectives were pushing for the abolition of “age of consent” laws regarding sexual contact.

— In a recent, copyrighted story, the Baltic Times reported that Lithuania may be forced to recognize same-sex partnerships in order to be admitted to the EU.

A judge’s comment about such partnerships falling under a new Family Law Code gained wide attention because Lithuania has been regarded one of the least tolerant of homosexuality, the Times said.

— The British-based Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is demanding that all references to God be left out of the preamble to a new EU constitution, according to a report from London on CNSNews.com.

“To include references to God or ‘our Christian heritage’ would be to start turning our back on our 500-year journey from the Enlightenment,” the group stated. “Instead, we should be proud of our progress, and growing humanity.”

— Christianity Today has reported that Britain’s Christian Institute is concerned that EU laws banning discrimination on the basis of religion, belief or sexual orientation will destroy religious organizations. While there are exemption clauses regarding beliefs, the British institute noted that they do not apply to claims brought in regard to sexual orientation.

— Last summer, an African news service reported that the European Union –which supplies aid to Namibia — brought pressure against that nation after its president said homosexuality is against God’s will and ordered police to deport homosexuals.

LaBarbera said there are many other examples of this global push to normalize same-sex practices, such as Sweden pushing “hate speech” laws to forbid citizens from criticizing homosexuality and Belgium legalizing same-sex partnerships.

“The ILGA has been very outspoken,” LaBarbera said, noting that the International Lesbian and Gay Association are seeking a United Nations declaration favoring homosexual rights by 2007. “They want to condemn media that promote anti-gay prejudice, saying it causes people to get harmed. We think this is going to be used to stop Christians from voicing our beliefs.”

The European Union forcing countries with strong traditions against same-sex relationships into their mold shows the willingness of homosexual advocates to use weapons like economic blackmail to get their way, LaBarbera said.

This sort of heavy-handed practice is used in America as well, he commented, pointing to San Francisco’s demand that companies and agencies doing business with the city institute homosexual partnership rules.

“They’re not afraid to do anything to enforce the gay agenda,” LaBarbera said. “Our point is it’s not a civil rights issue, it’s a moral issue. If we still have our rights in the U.S., we have a right and a duty to disagree with proud homosexual activists.”

While Christians in this country may not have much influence in other nations, LaBarbera said they can speak out against the homosexual rights agenda in America.

Although some see nothing wrong with homosexual rights laws because of their belief that no one should face discrimination, LaBarbera said the church needs to be aware that anti-discrimination laws have become an anti-religious weapon.

The reason is that homosexual rights activists are aware that Christians, Orthodox Jews and Muslims are the only people left who are willing to speak out against homosexuality, he said.

“Does a Christian daycare center have to hire a homosexual?” LaBarbera asked. “We’re already seeing the idea pushed on the college campus, where even Christian groups are being pressured to admit homosexuals to leadership. We’re seeing laws used to punish Christians, which is why they’re wrong.”

Despite his stance against homosexual rights, LaBarbera urged Christians not to swing to the other extreme and get involved in “gay bashing” or failing to share the love of Christ with homosexuals.

“We have to speak the truth in love,” LaBarbera said. “We have no basis to hate people; we’re no better than anybody else. How can we say that hope is denied to anybody? We’re saved by the blood of Jesus. Christians are uniquely positioned to reach out to gays.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://bpnews.net. Photo title: GLOBAL AGENDA.

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  • Ken Walker