By Emmanuele Da Ponte
Center for Family & Human Rights
Traditional man-woman marriage, sodomy laws and social norms about gender are Western colonial impositions according to a UN human rights report.
UN expert on sexual orientation told the General Assembly that “Diversity in sexual orientations and gender identities has existed everywhere and throughout recorded history.” In his final report to the UN, highly controversial Victor Madrigal-Borloz, said any changes of such sexual practices were actually imposed by colonial masters from Europe and were a part of the broader enterprise to dominate people and territories.
Without evidence, Madrigal-Borloz, who has the financial support and political backing of the United States government, the European Union, and other Western powers, said that the natural and traditional state of affairs before Western colonial rule was acceptance of homosexuality and transgender identity.
“My search concludes that, before colonialism existed, many peoples did not have a binary sexual approach,” said Madrigal-Borloz presenting his latest report to the third committee of the General Assembly. He even claimed that before Western powers colonized traditional cultures, such cultures “did not establish direct linkage between the anatomy of a person and his or her gender.”
Madrigal-Borloz made a number of unsubstantiated claims including that, “Tribes in modern-day Nigeria did not have a binary concept of sexuality and did not assign a gender at birth.” Also, that, “Some communities in Senegal demonstrated fluid sexual behavior including sexual practices among members of the same sex, inter and cross-gender identities, and transvestitism, the Dagaaba people of Ghana had assigned genders based on their vital energy,” and “tribes of Kenya observed marriages among people of the same sex.”
“Individuals embodying gender-variant roles and identities have been cherished and respected in many societies, both for ceremonial and advisory roles, such as Two-Spirits in North America, the Bonjus in Europe, the Muxes in Mexico, the Hijras in India and Bangladesh, the Takatāpuis in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the Sistergirls of the First Nation Cultures in Australia,” the report argues.
The report concludes that 67 countries that have sodomy laws should decriminalize homosexual sex and adopt progressive legislation on homosexual/trans issues in order to “Decolonize and indigenize existing categorizations used to define and organize gender and sexuality diversity.”
Western countries that promote homosexuality and transgender issues around the world supported Madrigal-Borloz’s argument in the General Assembly. The European Union said that it agreed that “understanding and addressing the impact of colonial processes is one aspect of deconstructing violence on those grounds.”
The representative of Belgium said, “Diversity in sexual orientations and gender identities has existed everywhere and throughout recorded history.”
A U.S. diplomat said, “Many people in this room and around the world, myself included, are proud to identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community. This is something to be embraced and celebrated.” He praised Madrigal-Borloz as “voice, role model, and inspiration for so many LGBTQI+ persons around the world.”
Countries that were formerly under colonial rule did not push back, did not defend their ancestors. Most of those countries remain quite traditional and view the promotion of homosexuality transgender issues as a Western colonial imposition. They don’t believe the work of Madrigal-Borloz and his mandate are valid and have never engaged him in debate.
This was Madrigal-Borlozs last dialogue with the General Assembly as a UN independent expert as he has fulfilled his second and last three-year term and will be replaced by Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch, expected to be no less radical then Madrigal-Borloz.