Shocking Comments by Republican Human Rights Chairman

Human Rights Chairman - ‘Homosexual Rights Are Not Human Rights’ Chris Smith

Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey, who currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is chairman of its "Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee," has come under fire for comments he made during a January 27th subcomittee hearing-

He boldly told the panel- “I am a strong believer in traditional marraige, and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights.” Smith made his comments before badgering a witness as to whether "the Obama administration has hindered U.S. aid to Nigeria by supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community." The witness, who is a State Department official, responded that no aid agreements have been affected.

Smith claims that President Obama's “views on LGBT rights affected or hindered our support for Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram.”

Chris has long been a critic of President Obama's support of the LGBT community. In 2011 he ranted-

"Both Obama and [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton are pushing the gay-rights agenda in all of our foreign policy. It is integrated into our human-rights reporting and human-rights data calls."

In a 2014 interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Smith argued that the only thing the Obama White House cares about is “the LGBT, the abortion that is being promoted so aggressively overseas.”

Smith's comments are highly dangerous in a climate where 38 out of 54 countries in Africa criminalize homosexuality. Harsh penal codes and the increasing push for more onerous anti-homosexuality legislation in Africa has lead to state sanctioned, religious and community persecution, resulting in arrests, long prison sentences, firings, evictions, mob justice, threats, and assaults on the LGBT community.

First published on www.Armagayddon.com by Kristina Lapinski, Producer/Director- Armagayddon

Comments for African HRC 's Melanie Nathan: "It is shocking to hear remarks of this nature from a person of this stature in this important position. Smith should be pulled off this post as he is clearly not qualified to lead on human rights. He should further be held accountable for the persecution or the justification for persecution that these remarks will likely cause. Smith should read what Ban Ki Moon the Secretary General of the United Nations has to say about LGBT rights as well as the current stance on LGBT rights in the United Nations. It is time the Republicans woke up to realize that politicizing LGBT rights is no longer effective. Goodluck come 2016 and a new generation of voters."

Perhaps someone can recommend a quick simple wikipedia read for Mr Smith:

"On June 17, 2011, South Africa initiated a resolution in the UNHRC requesting that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights draft a report detailing the situation of LGBT citizens worldwide to follow up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. The resolution passed 23 to 19, with the three abstentions being Burkina Faso, China, and Zambia. It was the first such resolution and was hailed as "historic".

The report, which came out in December 2011, documented violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crimes, criminalization of homosexuality, and discrimination. High Commissioner Navi Pillay called for equitable ages of consent; comprehensive laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation; prompt investigation and recording of hate crime incidents; the repeal of laws criminalizing homosexuality; and other measures to ensure the protection of LGBT rights. The text of the report from the UNHRC is dated on 17 November 2011. (I would call this HUMAN RIGHTS)

Separately, it was announced in July 2014 that the United Nations (as an employer) would extend equal benefits to its employees who have entered into same-sex unions in jurisdictions where they are legal."

@AfricanHRC Shortlink: http://tinyurl.com/qykozo5

© 2015 African Human Rights Coalition

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