By John Mack Freeman
The European Union has issued a statement urging the state of North Carolina to reconsider the anti-GLBT law HB-2. Via The News and Observer:
A statement posted on the EU website from spokeswoman Catherine Ray says the laws “discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons” and “contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the U.S. is a state party, and which states that the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection.”
The covenant was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 and has been ratified by 167 countries. Under the U.S. Constitution, international treaties have the same authority as federal law. The covenant does not specifically list sexual orientation and gender identity among the categories protected from discrimination.
The covenant requires all signatories to “guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The EU statement says that “as a consequence, cultural, traditional or religious values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination, including discrimination against LGBTI persons. These laws should be reconsidered as soon as possible.”