Case in point, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (whose knee-jerk anti-Americanism has been discussed before at TNR ) has refused to publicize the State Department's annual report on human rights, specifically its pertinence to gay rights abroad. Every year, State issues such a report and makes an effort to include countries' treatment of gays as part of a broader analysis in human rights trends. The latest controversy over IGHLRC is detailed in The Bay Area Reporter, a gay newspaper in San Francisco.
One really should read the BAR story to see how convoluted Ettelbrick's ways are. She tells the paper her group works throughout the year with State to improve the annual human rights report, but when it's released, she can't be bothered directing her communications director to issue a statement about it and educate everybody about how to use the report to raise awareness of antigay abuses globally.
More from The Plank:
Ettlebrick, who seems unable to open her mouth about the horrendous treatment of gays overseas without throwing in a line about how awful her own country is, said, "Who is the U.S. to issue a report on every other government in the world on its human rights activities, especially in light of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib?" Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (the former a disgrace and the latter hardly so) should not rise to the level of epic disasters responsible for utterly destroying America's moral authority. But they have, largely because of individuals like Ettlebrick, who suffer from a serious case of moral obtuseness.
I disagree with Kirchick's contention that Gitmo is not a blot of shame for the USA, but nonetheless, his points about IGLHRC's leader are most valid. These are his final thoughts on all this:
As a supposed gay rights activist whose job it is to monitor how her brothers and sisters are being treated around the world (especially the third world), Ettlebrick ought to stick to her job. Last month, I wrote that that IGLHRC "does not really do much." Here is further confirmation of that assertion.
Even left-wing gays are taking IGLHRC to task. Michael Petrelis, a Green Party activist in San Francisco, said, "I grieve for my community and how it doesn't demand consistent, quality gay advocacy on crucial global gay rights abuses from our paid advocates." Indeed, the job of highlighting the State Department's report, in relation to gay issues, has been left to the decidedly unpaid D.C. activist Rick Rosendall, who does a fine job here.
Two years ago, Ettelbrick lauded the State Department report and its many gay citations. She told the Washington Blade: “Anytime a government acknowledges the human rights situation of LGBT people that’s a good thing."
Yes, Paula, you are so right with that thinking and for the life of me, I can't understand why your organization prefers silence to surround the latest State report over raising your voices about the annual human rights survey, and using it to advance international respect for gays and lesbians.
We need an international gay and lesbian human rights group that is not held hostage to the twisted political machinations and ideology of a leader who is more suited to the confines of a classroom, rather than the world stage where she should be putting gay rights first, America-bashing second, on her agenda.