As world leaders gather to address the United Nations, few (outside FoxNews, the conservative media and blogs) are paying much attention to the prominence of representatives of repressive regimes in the leadership of the world body. And most people, including many heads of gay organizations, remain silent as officials from anti-gay governments serve in various councils, including those on human rights.
And while the leader of a national lesbian organization may use 9/11 to rail against alleged right-wing hatred in the United States, a Republican Congresswoman, Florida’s Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, uses the occasion of the opening of latest session of the United Nations General Assembly to chastise that body for electing Ali Abdessalam Treki, a former foreign minister of Libya (i.e., in the government of Muammar Qaddafi) and “a vocal advocate for the criminalization of homosexual behavior” as its new President:
The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by advocates of hate and intolerance. Likewise, the leadership of the UN Development Program is held by the Iranian regime, which denies the presence of gays in Iran even as it murders them and other innocent citizens. We must ensure that billions annually in U.S. taxpayer dollars no longer foot the bill for the UN’s anti-freedom agenda without significant reform. Congress must demand better by enacting pending legislation that would leverage our contributions to the UN to produce sweeping, meaningful reform of that body.
Seems a Republican is doing a better job looking out for our interests than is the head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights whose website doesn’t mention Mr. Treki’s election. (Nor do the websites of HRC or NGLTF.)
I wonder if any of the supposedly gay-friendly Democratic members of Congress took note of this appointment. And note as well that none of the national gay groups have joined Log Cabin (whose e-mail alerted me to this election) in saluting this Republican representative for criticizing the prominence of an anti-gay official at the United States.
To their credit, bloggers at Queerty and Towleroad picked up the story, with the latter linking a FoxNews report on Ms. Ros-Lehtinen’s statement. Guess because other news outlets weren’t covering the story?
So, this network much maligned on the left, particularly the gay left, is the only major media outlet to pick up the story of the election of anti-gay official from Qaddafi’s regime to the presidency of the UN General Assembly?
UP-UPDATE: Save the FoxNews story, the only other media coverage I could find was Steve Rothaus’ Gay South Florida blog on the Miami Herald’s page. (Since he had the full text of Ros-Lehtinen’s statement, I added a link to his page before the block quote above.)