Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Depends on How it Changes the Game

Patrick's post about the AID's involvement in a partnership to address LGBT issues around the world laments that  "U.S. taxpayers' dollars are being spent to advocate internationally for laws and policies that most Americans still oppose and that, what is more, violate the moral law."  

I think he overstates the objection tremendously.  The specific things listed as being of concern in the AID's announcement of the partnership are the fact that LGBT behavior is criminalized in 85 countries, seven of which impose a death penalty for same-sex sexual activity and that a large number of countries do not punish anti-gay discrimination.  I think one would be hard put to claim that most Americans think same-sex behavior should be criminatlized or subject to the death penality and I see no violation of moral law in fighting against such laws.  And (appreciating that people can have different views as to what constitutes discrimination, even the Catholic Church believes that people should not be discriminated against) because of their sexual orientation.

The United States is not representative of the rest ofthe world.  The big fight here is about gay marriage.  In other parts of the world homosexuals risk harm from third parties and their own governments because of their orientation.  

I'd like to know a little more about the specific plans of the partnership of which the AID is a part before coming to the conclusions Patrick does.



Stabile, Susan | Permalink


                                                        Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Let's get real. These people are not going around asking that other countries tolerate chaste, decent people who happen to have disordered attractions.

Posted by: Titus | Jun 6, 2013 6:36:13 PM

Susan, the program's stated purposes (to a summary of which you linked in the Agency's press release) are not remotely limited to changing or eliminating criminal penalties attached to homosexual sex. Its stated purposes are far more wide-ranging and culture-altering -- in fact, such cultural 're-education' (my term) is one of its boasts. In my understanding, Church teaching denies the legitimacy of many of the program's stated purposes. And, of course, the *stated* purposes need not be assumed to be the only purposes driving the program. I note that the Obama administration funded this new program during a much-mooted "sequestration" that affected, in palpable ways, millions of needy Americans.

Taking a step back from the immediate issue, I do find it odd -- indeed, incomprehensible -- that as we are facing a cultural shift on the question of the nature of marriage that many homosexuals and others are *already* openly celebrating as epochal, not to mention "inevitable" (a term I hear used a lot in this context), traditionalists and some others are being chastised for "exaggerating" the magnitude of the cultural change and the manifold mechanisms at work to effect it. The sea change and the force behind it are undeniable, even if all of the results aren't in quite yet.

I certainly and deeply embrace the Church's teaching on the equal dignity of *all* human persons, as the record of my published works more than establishes. But that same Church's teaching does not bless homosexual union.

Posted by: Patrick McKinley Brennan | Jun 6, 2013 7:06:12 PM

The link in the original comment speaks of one of the "most shocking abuses of taxpayer dollars in the last five years" that funds "bullying" other nations into compliance and involves nations that "oppose homosexuality." This all is a "stunning exploitation" of our money and trust.

Not sure what that means. But, a majority of the U.S. don't "oppose homosexuality." They also don't support various aspects of Catholic doctrine, including on contraceptives and other sexual matters.

[link: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/obama-administration-begins-training-homosexual-activists-around-the-world]

With respect, Tony Perkins' framing here does not suggest "the story" as such w/o more is being told. The USAID press release notes:

"Starting its work in Ecuador, Honduras, Colombia, and expanding to even more countries, the partnership will strengthen the capacity of LGBT civil society organizations, train LGBT individuals to participate more fully in democratic processes, and undertake research on the economic impact of discrimination against LGBT individuals."

Also: "Around the world, eighty-five countries and territories criminalize LGBT behavior and seven countries have a death penalty for same-sex sexual activity."

The "homosexual activism" (to quote Patrick Brennan) is meant to deal with this stuff. It isn't just some effort to promote same sex marriage.

Posted by: Joe | Jun 6, 2013 8:29:45 PM