BY KALI CROKE, FOX News
BOSTON, Mass. (Fox News) — As the Human Rights Commission (HRC) opened debate on “Violence Against LGBTQ People,” a mainstream opinion was already materializing as a majority of nations expressed overwhelming support for the minority community. Amid talk of legalization of same-sex marriage, gender identity, and protection, the few conservative voices in the room felt all but drowned out.
Though debate has just begun, many members have already begun to question whether or not there is an inherent bias in the international community that does not allow room for controversial, yet culturally-relative beliefs. According to the delegate of Iraq, the committee’s emerging attitudes toward different viewpoints is soon on the verge of hypocrisy.
“We talk about tolerance a lot in the U.N., but it’s actually not a very tolerant environment,” the delegate of Iraq said. “Some countries are not willing to accept that we are different and we have different views and we are entitled to our own beliefs.”
Though a quiet ally, the delegate of Egypt agreed with its fellow Arab state on the difficulties—and irony—of free expression in the room. Citing the Egyptian government’s recent “progressive protocol toward LGBTQ people,” the delegate noted that pressure from the international community has not eased in light of the nation’s cultural position.
“There is violence against sexual minorities,” Egypt said. “[Despite] the progressive protocol at the end of last year, […] international governments have forced Egypt to abolish [it] because sexual minorities are an important part of their civilizations. What they don’t understand is that religious [beliefs] of our civilization can not be changed short-term.”
While Egypt seconded Iraq’s sentiment on the difficulty of expressing a conservative view, the delegate of the United Kingdom was optimistic. Though the nation did not acknowledge any liberal biases, the delegate felt that common ground could be reached.
“I think we are all here because we believe in human rights and the prioritization of lives above all,” the delegate of the United Kingdom said. “It doesn’t matter if you are conservative or believe in LGBTQ marriage. We are here because of violence and no one should have to live in fear.”
Nonetheless, the delegate of Iraq emphasized a different kind of fear for those in opposition to the majority, including nations of the Arab League and Latin America.
“It’s very difficult for countries with a more controversial stance on the topic [to speak out],” Iraq said. “We feel a lot of pressure.”
While debate is still young, it remains to be seen whether or not the conservative voice will be given the floor that it deserves as an equal member of the international community. When it comes to the topic of LGBTQ rights across multiple cultures, the HRC may have already reached their consensus before the end of the first day.