Yes, according to a speaker yesterday at a forum of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Stephen Whittle, co-president of Press for Change (United Kingdom), revealed that, in his unsuccessful case to win the right for transsexuals to marry, he hid from the court that his household consists of unrelated adults.
Whittle described himself as a female transsexual, that is, a biological female who lives as a male and may have had mutilating surgery to transform herself into a "male." He said he has lived with Alex (male) for 28 years, with John (male) 26 years and Sarah (female) 25 years. He described his "family" as three men, one woman and some "long-term guests." Sarah underwent fertility treatment to become pregnant, and the household includes four children.
In a later e-mail to this author, Whittle said that he and Sarah have always lived as a "conventional couple" and that the single men in the household "have never been in a relationship with anyone."
Stephen and Sarah argued to the European Court of Human Rights that a transsexual should have the right to marry. Stephen stated at the forum that they took "great care" not to let the court know of all the adults involved in their household.
The forum, titled "We Are Family: Prejudice and Discrimination against Non-Traditional Families," spotlighted homosexuals and transsexuals with children in their homes. Speakers advocated promoting homosexual and transsexual rights by focusing on the children who find themselves, usually through court placement, adoption or fertility treatments, in these homes.
The forum revealed a new strategy: focus on the children trapped within the households, thereby requiring that society accept whatever lifestyle the adults choose to live-for the "good" of the children.
Stephen warned participants to be "wary of efforts to change" the definition of family that includes only homosexual couples. He defined "family" as any group of people who share "respect, care, activities, financial responsibilities and commitment based within a mutually recognized temporal and geographical space."
Family law has gaping holes in relation to "alternative families," he complained, because the law favors monogamous heterosexual couples. European law is beginning to recognize that the welfare of the child should be paramount. Stephen defines this as a child's right to a family that the child recognizes and understands.
Eleanor Whittle, an 11-year-old girl in his household who joined him at the forum, was born into this multiple-partner group; it is all she has known. It is difficult to describe her family to others, she stated sadly.
"How can a family be respected if [it is] not recognized as having the right to exist?" Stephen asked.
Another speaker, Mr. Jaap Doek, chairman of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, extrapolated from the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a U.N. treaty. It is clear from the CRC that parents play an important role in a child's life, likely meaning, he explained, biological parents. But this surely must include adoptive and single parents. The treaty includes all types of parents, he asserted.
Using the example of high rates of divorce and child abuse, Mr. Doek denied the preponderance of research in stating that a heterosexual environment has not been determined best for children. Single parents have lots of economic problems, proving that it is not easy to raise a child alone. But, he claimed, no data says homosexual parents are detrimental. They perform well, at least, not worse than heterosexuals, he concluded.
Another speaker, Ms. Dorothy Aken'ova with International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (Nigeria), clearly opposed the Christian design of the family. She said that Nigeria has female-headed families, polygamous, lesbian and gay families.
"Where did this view of 'traditional family' come from?" she asked. "Is this game of ignoring various forms of the family out of ignorance or mischief? There is an 'unholy alliance' of religion, culture and tradition."
She advised the audience to attack the traditional view of family by advocating at the United Nations for new definitions, informing local communities on U.N. processes, and building alliances with other advocacy groups.
Mr. Guido Meurers and Mr. Thomas Meurers of the German group KLECKS spoke on homosexual-headed households. Guido described Thomas as his husband, adding that Thomas took Guido's last name. Guido is the guardian of his nephew, and the household includes other children.
Guido reaffirmed the homosexual agenda's plans to bring its message to the schools where, he said, homosexuality should be discussed. He called for strengthening societal structures and increasing support for homosexual families "in order to help the children."
In addition, he called for legal changes. Parents ought to be able to change the last names of children they are caring for even if there are not officially adopted. "Shared parenthood" is available to those who become parents through in vitro fertilization (he apparently referred to children created with donated sperm or eggs), so this should be extended to homosexual couples.
International Research Center on Social Minorities hosted the forum. According to an organization paper, due to "an increasing momentum at the United Nations, which culminated in the presentation of a resolution on 'Human Rights and Sexual Orientation' at the 59th Session of the U.N. in 2003, we have decided to focus predominantly on issues of discrimination on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation for the first years of our existence."
The speakers regard the United Nations as a means of furthering their agenda worldwide, and we will see the effects in the United States if we are not vigilant. Attending meetings of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights allows CWA to be a watchman for efforts to further homosexuality and to lobby delegates against any measures that could do so.
Your support of Concerned Women for America makes our involvement at the United Nations possible. Thank you for partnering with us.
Wendy Wright is Concerned Women for America's non-government organization (NGO) representative to the United Nations. Miss Wright is Senior Policy Director responsible for international and life issues.