Colum Lynch Discusses IGLHRC's ECOSOC Status in Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay

Republicans Join Forces with Islamic Governments against America
Colum Lynch

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

The move comes as the Obama administration is planning to press for the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to grant on Monday "consultative status" to an American group, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), so that it can participate in U.N. meetings along with thousands of other international non-government organizations.

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. That committee, which reports to ECOSOC, has prevented any action on the gay rights group's application for more than three years. In its history, ECOSOC has accredited a total of nine gay and lesbian organizations.

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