The progression and development of the right to nondiscrimination, especially for GLBT members of society, is one that I feel has picked up in the last twenty or so years. However, while America can be seen taking huge steps in the area, there are still many countries in which it is the total opposite. When the question of whether or not we can eventually change Article 16 in the Universal Document of Human Rights, Dan Savage responded, “we must.” But I feel like the true meaning behind the question was lost. Personally, I was more trying to articulate the question of, I guess when relating back to cultural relativism, whether or not it is a reasonable goal to try and change Article 16. I feel like there could easily be a chance for my words to get mistaken here – I am not saying that people should not try to progress things for GLBT rights, I am just frustrated by the idea that it is useless to try, and that it cannot happen. This is mostly a manifestation of the frustration I felt with the reading by Jack Donnelly, “Non-Discrimination and Sexual Orientation: Making a Place for Sexual Minorities in the Global Human Rights Regime.”
In the text Donnelly wrote, “In the short and medium run, there is no chance of anything even close to an international consensus on even a working text for a draft declaration of the rights of homosexuals.” While I understand that the International Document of Human Rights is largely one with fixed standards, this statement by Donnelly really bothered me. I feel like LGBT people have been denied these basic human rights for so long, that they should not have to wait anymore for their rights. I know that it is hard, especially when looking at cultural relativism, to make all cultures agree on an issue. But to deny someone rights purely because they are choosing to love someone that you do not agree with – that to me seems so backwards.
Amongst all these ramblings, I guess my main question is, is this really a long-term goal? Can we, in a relatively shorter period of time, actually come to some sort of global consensus? Furthermore, what steps have to be taken to get things such as Article 16 changed? Do you think it is possible to see this happen in the next generation?