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Sodomy Laws Are Rooted in British Colonialism

In many countries, conservatives claim homosexuality came from the colonizing West. In fact, it's homophobia that's a legacy of Western colonialism.

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Last week, a statement signed by 66 countries in the U.N. General Assembly, led by France, affirmed that human rights protections include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Many news media agencies covered the event as the adoption of a declaration on gay rights. However, Nath says that the word "declaration" was inaccurate. "It wasn't a declaration," she explained, "it was basically a statement that was read out at the U.N., endorsed by 66 countries. It doesn't have any sort of binding power."

She expressed huge disappointment with the U.S. decision not to sign the statement, pointing out that it is a country that has global influence, and should set an example in the recognition of human rights. China, Russia, the Vatican and Islamic countries also refused to sign the statement.

Asked about a Syria-led statement signed by 44 countries, which called upon member states to continue to devote special attention and resources to protect the traditional family as "the natural and fundamental unit of society", Nath pointed out that women are also fighting for their equal rights all over the world.

"I think we need to redefine the idea of family in the General Assembly, expand it," she said.

Both Nath and Dittrich hope that the new U.S. administration in January will have a different approach.

"I am confident that an Obama administration would have signed on [to the French-led statement]," said Dittrich.

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