THE PLANK FEBRUARY 15, 2007
Here is a little-noticed item (hat tip to reader J.R.): Earlier this month, a United Nations consultative committee on NGOs rejected the credentials of the Coalition of Gays and Lesbians of Quebec, as well as a similar group from Sweden. Over 2,000 groups have been bestowed such accreditation by the U.N, which allows them to attend conferences and offer their opinions on various matters. The rejection of the Canadian group was by a vote of 8-6. Voting against were, unsurprisingly, Russia, Burundi, Guinea, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar and Sudan. Voting in favor were the democracies of Israel, Britain, and the United States, along with Colombia, Peru and Romania.
This move seems to be a positive reversal in American policy, as last year our government backed a plan by Iran to block similar status for the International Lesbian and Gay Association. Offering her two cents at the time was Paula Ettelbrick, Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which, in spite of it's highfalutin name, does not really do much. She said, "Unfortunately, denying LGBT groups a voice and a presence within the United Nations