Last edited: February 14, 2005

Muslim States Oppose European Push to Reinstate Gay Group U.K., April 30, 2002 

A European initiative to reinstate United Nations observer status for a Brussels-based homosexual lobbying organisation suspended for man/boy sex links has made Muslim states see red.

Pakistan along with other Arab countries will lead a fight today in the U.N. Economic and Social Council, or ECOSOC, to uphold a prior committee vote to continue blocking the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) from attending U.N. meetings and informal negotiating sessions closed to the public and press, reports the Washington Post.

The ILGA was stripped of its rank as a credentialed U.N. nongovernmental organisation (NGO) in 1994—just a year after being accepted—because a founding 15-year member, the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), advocates and promotes man-boy sex.

At the January meeting, U.S. representative Richard Williams said the ILGA had satisfied U.N. demands to expel pedophiles.

In informal discussions on Friday, in preparation for the ECOSOC meeting today, French and German delegates announced they would try to overturn the earlier vote and get the ILGA reinstated.

The Pakistani delegate, Ishtiag H. Anrabi, said in an interview, however, that the ILGA has refused to provide a list of its members for independent verification of claims that pro-pedophile members have been expelled.

Kursad Kahramanoglu, ILGA’s co-secretary-general, said the opposition stemmed from prejudice against homosexuality. "We have not been able to beat homophobia around the world. The situation is particularly difficult amongst the Islamic states," he told the Washington Post.

The ILGA is unwilling to make public its entire member list for review, Mr. Kahramanoglu said, because the information would be used by opponents to persecute homosexuals.

"There are still countries in the world in which to be a person with a different sexuality is a criminal offence," he said. "One of ILGA’s aims is to help these people, not to jeopardize their security."

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