Outburst at Human Rights Council criticized by UN Watch monitoring group.
Gays threaten the continuation of the human race, Libya's delegate told a planning meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, reports the Geneva-based UN Watch monitoring group.
The comments yesterday (13 February) came as the post-Gaddafi government made its first appearance in the 47-nation body.
Protesting the council's first panel discussion on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, scheduled for 7 March, Libya's representative told the gathering of ambassadors today that LGBT topics ‘affect religion and the continuation and reproduction of the human race’.
The language used echoes comments made by the Pope in January when he listed gay marriage as one of the things which ‘threatened humanity’. He was widely mocked for his comments.
Libya added that, were it not for the fact they were suspended from membership at the time, Libya would have opposed the UN council's June 2011 pro-LGBT resolution.
In response, council president Laura Dupuy Lasserre said ‘the Human Rights Council is here to defend human rights and prevent discrimination.’
The Libyan outburst prompted questions by human rights activists about Libya's reinstatement on the council.
‘We were happy to see the Gaddafi regime finally suspended last year but this is not the Arab Spring we hoped for,’ said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which in 2010 led a campaign of 70 human rights groups to expel the Libyan dictator from the council membership.
Neuer added: ‘Today's homophobic outburst by the new Libyan government, together with its routine abuse of prisoners and other ongoing violations, underscores the serious questions many have about the new regime's commitment to improving on the dark record of its predecessor. Gays are now paying the price. It's alarming.’