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Examination of State and UN policies to strengthen the Family:
Family perspectives threatened by legalizing
same-sex marriage and gay adoption of children
\"\" Dr. Farooq Hassan * — Professor, Harvard; Barrister at Law, Senior Advocate Supreme Court, (QC); Attorney at Law (US); Special UN Ambassador for Family, Special International UN Ambassador for Aging

Synopsis of remarks of the honorable Dr. Farooq Hassan
delivered to the Plenary session of 
WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILY VII,
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA,
15 to 18 May, 2013

 

DISTINGISHED LADIES & GENTLMEN! I am honored to be present here today to address you on the crucially important subject of“: “Examination of State & UN policies to strengthen the family.” I shall be particularly focusing my attention to the most serious threats that have more recently emanated for the traditional family adherents by legalizing Same-sex Marriage & Gay Adoption of Children in several important Western countries.

This matter about the policies of States and UN vis-a-vis the Family certainly requires a deeper examination as it will enable us properly to see if this institution as enshrined in Article 16 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, has been really “strengthened”? Or is it proper to emphasize, howsoever regrettably, the simple truth that the available evidence is seemingly to the contrary?

My presentation would thus examine this subject as it has never been, as far as I know, analyzed before. In this presentation I propose to give you an analysis of the highly interesting debates of this topic in the contemporary background of the continued “liberalization” towards and vis-à-vis the gay community that is clearly in evidence now in the laws of many advanced countries. This liberalization policy adopted in key important countries of the world has resulted thus in manifold increase in the acceptance of the demands of the gay community.

The central theme of such liberal allowances by Western countries in particular is towards the avowed of the gay people that their “different life styles & practices” should be accepted in the communities that they have chosen to live now. However, there has come a strange state of present affairs that on account of severe threats emanating from such developments (dealing with an increase in the phenomenon of same sex marriage and by allowing gays to adopt children), there is now a clear danger which may well threaten the continuity of the traditionalists manner of living and their practices towards their own family structures. The world’s pro family activists’ or traditionalists, are thus facing more acute challenges particularly in important Western societies for preservation of their beliefs and the core values of living in the style of their choosing inherited by them. [1]

This aspect of the discussions would manifestly require an in depth examination to see if states that have espoused such adverse collective activity at the UN have been “identified”, and not merely the UN, by the pro-family NGO activists? Similarly, after a survey of important events that have occurred on the transnational scene, it will be submitted that in realty far-reaching goals of strengthening the family are still on as evidenced by state practice and the UN itself, though the modalities of such advances require a scientific expose and not merely rhetorical reassertions of well-meaning pro-family activists. In this context importantly the efforts at the international scene in helping countries to reverse the presently seen trend of decrease in population deserves special notice. [2]

This broader inquiry has been I am sorry to add, almost entirely and erroneously predisposed towards an answer which substantially exculpates the pro family partisans’ feeble efforts in this behalf; instead such pro-family advocates entirely blame the machinations of UN in apparent deterioration of contemporary norms resulting in perceived weakening of the traditional family values. It would be my submission that ex-hypothesi, UN is an international institution which prima facie, acts when ordered by member states. Nothing realistically intelligent, however, is said about such avocations’ of member states as critiques are directed only at UN. [3]

In this analysis I would be presenting my own thesis that if we wish to really succeed to preserve he higher moral ground of the pro family adherents, we require a scientifically oriented approach to:

  • (1) Initially diagnose the real difficulties that traditionalists face, and then
  • (2) Suggest academic & intellectually sound mechanism of how best to achieve such goals.

In sum, the difficulties are of such a nature that it is essential that we allow and encourage the professionally knowledgeable to undertake and devise appropriate measures to properly face the kind of challenges that lie ahead.

While examining such international aspects of this debate under the present circumstances, we must, a fortiori, also examine the domestic developments of various countries & States; in this survey it would be helpful to refer to a number of events all which are manifestly aiding by a rapid evolutionary process the ultimate end of the gay communities’ world wide.

All such events are, strictii sensu, of a legal or legislative kind, thus showing conclusively that if such battles were to be decided according to the aspirations of the gay community, the traditionalists will surly not do well on the international scene either.

Locale of these developments

This metamorphosis has occurred by the most visible activist stand adopted by the US and followed in Europe by the nucleus of states such as France and Holland which are now seen to be following the footsteps of the present US Administration. As such we have to see the repercussions of these developments on the very core meaning and conception of term “family”, an institution, which, I may add, has served well humanity itself through the ages.

The central legal theme of my jurisprudential presentation has been sharply accentuated by the recent US Presidential and other American elections and the French government’s decision to allow gays in France to ’marry and adopt children’ in a new bill placed before the cabinet on 6th November, 2012. This bill is set to be discussed at a meeting of the French Socialist government in January of 2013; if it becomes the law it would allow gay couples to adopt children. France already allows civil unions between same-sex couples, but it was a campaign pledge of the newly elected President Francois Hollande to extend their rights. So manifestly the real locale of this lingering human tragedy is North America & Europe.

The Nature of this Threat

In emphasizing these developments one has to have in mind the conceptual clarity that it is on account of genuine international developments, mostly emanating from the US that these emergent threats should be viewed. The underlying philosophical norms that are germane in this threat, are manifestly of the following species and categories of possible harm to our inherited thinking on this subject:

  • (1) Constitutional acceptance of the idea that no-longer a marriage is only between a man and a woman. This would in time effectively change a number of our most cherished ideals of life itself.
  • (2) The abandonment of the sociological pretense that a man to man relationship is not only improper it is also unethical in the traditional modalities of morality.
  • (3) Were this to become the norm it would destroy the very basis of our spiritual manner of thinking as traditionally based on religious precepts of spiritualism and ethical considerations based on Faith. [4]
  • (4)That it would affect adversely the high respect and adherence that exists for Teachings of the great Religions of this world.

Examining the Leading Precedents

French & European Cases

We will initially examine here the French matters; then we would see the role of the American “support” with respect to this on going debate between the pro-family traditionalist’s perspectives and the liberal tendencies. It will be my submission that clearly this aspect of the controversy certainly assumes a crucial importance in this matter. In other words, the stand adopted by the US in this regard along with a host of other American constitutional matters of grave significance has had a pivotally disastrous affect on the European thing on this topic.

The French President to the astonishment of many liberals is now apparently facing tough political opposition to this move. Although Mr. Hollande was only elected in May 2012, this remains one the most divisive political issues he has encountered since his assumption of the presidency. According to the French Cabinet sources once the draft law has been presented to Mr. Hollande’s cabinet, it will be debated by the French parliament in January, 2013.

Opposition to this move is tremendous as more than 1,000 mayors have signed a petition against the proposed changes; there have been protests in 75 towns and cities, and one opposition politician has even suggested that legalizing gay marriage could lead to polygamy! It is thus reported by BBC’s Maddy Savage from Paris. In addition to this public outcry there is vehement religious Opposition to this move by the Catholic community of France.

Over the first weekend in November, 2012, the head of the French Council of Bishops described gay marriage as “the ultimate deceit”. And let there be no mistake that the Socialist Administration of France has shown that there are also divisions within the government, with some going as far as to submit that the law should go even further by offering state funding for artificial insemination for gay couples!

Even a cursory examination of the prevalent European laws on this particular topic would regrettably reveal that the present French move is backed by several important European precedents. A number of European nations, including Germany, Sweden and the UK, already allow gay adoption. For example Sweden allowed by law same-sex marriage on 2 APRIL 2009 & Belgium passed gay adoption law 21 APRIL 2006.

The US Cases

Let us now move on to see American developments referred to by me above.  [5]

The voters in the US show a dramatic shift in attitudes towards this subject over decades. For the first time in American history voters directly approved same-sex marriage in different parts of the US: In the recent American elections Voters in two states, Maine and Maryland approved same-sex marriage, the first time this had occurred in the constitutional history of the US that the relevant electorate had approved same-sex marriage In the past, only judges or legislatures had approved it. The high water mark of this thinking is clearly reflected by the election of Baldwin whose election made headlines by becoming the first openly declared lesbian-gay US Senator.

What these “Measures” say

The two measures that passed, called “Question 1” in Maine and “Question 6” in Maryland in November 2012 contain similar language. The words “man and woman” “relating to the marital relationship or familial relationships” must be “construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes,” the Maine measure says. Maryland’s ballot reads, “Civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license.”

However, both measures also explicitly mention right of clergy to refuse to wed gay and lesbian couples if “it goes against their religious convictions.” This chapter does not require any member of the clergy to perform or any church, religious denomination or other religious institution to host any marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that member of the clergy, church, religious denomination or other religious institution," Maine’s Question 1 states.

The State Governments of Maine and Maryland had already passed laws permitting same-sex marriage, but activists opposed to the laws collected enough signatures to put them on the ballot for this year elections. A spokesman for Human Rights Campaign Fred Sainz, said that it had raised the colossal sum of $32 million for its campaigns on the referendums in favor of gay and lesbian peoples that included radio and television ads, social media strategy and on-the-ground public speaking engagements and by canvassing by thousands of volunteers. [6]

It is submitted that by enactment of the same-sex marriage, new laws in both states will redefine marriage for everyone as a genderless union and “endanger” the exiting fabric of the American society. “Such a radical change in the definition of marriage will produce a host of societal conflicts that government — exercising its enormous enforcement powers ----will have to resolve,” states Maryland Marriage Alliance; some parents are further rightly worried that legalizing same-sex marriage would lead to the promotion of homosexuality in school curriculum which is strongly disapproved by them.

Election results raise questions about Christian right’s influence

In 2009, a similar referendum in Maine failed when voters rejected the Governor’s decision to allow same-sex marriage. The results of the current American Elections represent a remarkable turnaround! Thirty-eight states in the US have by now passed bans on marriages between people of the same gender, mostly by amending their constitutions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In the six states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York — and the District of Columbia where gays and lesbians have previously won marriage rights, it was because of actions taken by judges or legislators, not voters.

Video audiences witnessed, as people saw the direct votes by the people to endorse such practices.

In light of the serious setbacks in the recent U.S. elections it is especially critical that the traditionalists make a genuine effort to examine the real difficulties that they are faced with. I say so since I feel that there remain fundamental flaws in the approach and modalities that they have been working on in this struggle against the pro- non-traditional family advocates.

The real reason for these “victories”, if you will, are the consequence of this simple element---the matter relating to an absence of genuine of professionalism relating to furthering their otherwise moral cause.

In the armory of the non-traditionalists this factor by itself constitutes the single most telling blow to their adversaries’ efforts rather than there being, in my view, a lessening of influence of the far right wing of the politician’s divide in the Western countries, particularly in the US. [7]

In sum, the pro family traditionalists are carrying on a battle without the aid or assistance of professionals who would be clearly better placed to articulate the thesis on behalf of the Family rather than the amateurish efforts of the pro-family protagonists that are presently visible to all. I am thus optimistic that despite the growing power of the non traditionalists in the sense described above, the current status of the real strength of the traditionalists to uphold the sanctity of Family at the UN and elsewhere would ultimately prevail.

I say so because the majority of the people in the world still believe that marriage and the family are significantly important to remain worth saving. The norms relating to traditional marriage and the fundamental goodness that these sentiments are based on have an undeniable appeal to the decent and ordinary peoples of this world as they are essential for the very survival of humanity.

By “majority” I mean really the number of the states and the peoples of the world. The fundamental problem in this respect lies essentially in the advanced countries of Europe and North America. I think that in this respect important Western Nations will have to seek guidance and appropriate role-modeling from the rest of this world---a matter that is itself not easy to digest by the technically advanced countries of this world. [8]

More importantly, apart from this fact there is the further point in relation to external affairs and the policy declarations of the leading Westerns Nations who have far reaching strategic goals to advance. In two important recent works of mine I have already adverted to this point.

In a leading article of mine posted internationally, I had submitted that the gay and lesbian community’s seemingly impressive triumph at the UN in Geneva recently in the summer of 2012 was because of the support of the US. Again some six months later I had made similar submission in the famed Rhodes Forum where I had pointed out that the feeble nature of attempts by the traditionalists were being really hidden from the world by meaningless attacks on the UN by such pro family advocates without reference to the clear and simple fact that as an international agency the UN was bound to act as the members wanted it to act. [9]

Thus a reference to the stand adopted by the members had to be taken in to account; most surprisingly, however, this facet of this debate is being ignored by such good hearted pro-family partisans.

As such President Obama’s re-election victory will have many significant ramifications in the years ahead for the future of “family”; indeed the possible adverse consequences for the United States and indeed worldwide for the perspectives of traditionalists noted concerns deserve the attention of all those who are supporting this gay cause.

This seems to be an area wherein the apparent negative implications on the family and family values in the U.S. and abroad would be certainly felt by coming generations. [10]

In this wider spectrum of evaluation there is, prima facie, a simultaneous erosion of the very foundations of morality, spiritualism and ordinary accepted norms of social behavior followed world wide by decent peoples who fervently believe in the traditional values of the family. There is no gainsaying the fact that the greater bulk of clergy and religious people of the world would speak with much enthusiasm against such homosexual philosophies. The leadership of this class internationally belongs, I say with utmost respect, to the Islamic countries

The Osama Administration has apparently pursued at both the macro and at the micro levels of its foreign policies a very anti-family approach (in the sense of having a concept of family values in which the non traditional elements have a clear edge in priorities), both in the United Nations and directly in several countries around the world.

In Europe it has, along with other countries such as France and Holland, pushed for legalization of same-sex marriage and the whole range of homosexual “rights,” apparently an unlimited access to abortion, the legalization of prostitution, and what the traditionalists would classify as dangerous and seemingly inappropriate sexual teachings of children through a radical kind of education and by other means and ways. [11] Since it aims to have impact abroad, it may well be considered by some to be offensive and akin to cultural imperialism of the worst possible kind. In many third world states, this American policy has achieved what other international agencies as the UNDP could not.

Moreover it need not be emphasized that as the constitutional term of office of the American presidents is limited to just two terms, yet the movement just begun may last much longer than that. Where that may lead us, is still anybody’s guess though, I for one think that these trends may be difficult to be countered given the track record of the majority of the NGOs presently seen active for the traditional family in international relations.

In addition to a defeat for Family in the presidential race, there were other, unprecedented defeats for the “family” in the recent US elections. Primarily these electoral defeats for the “family” concerned legalizing homosexual marriage. In the four states in which it was on the ballot, the pro-family protagonists lost in all of them.

  • In Maine, for the first time in history, voters directly legalized same-sex marriage. Until yesterday, same-sex marriage has always been either imposed by activist judges or indirectly through legislatures. Three years ago Maine voters overturned one of these laws passed by their legislature the first time that happened. In a ballot referendum, Maine voters adopted a law to legalize homosexual marriage by a 54 to 46 margin.
  • In two states, Washington and Maryland, measures were on the ballot that would have overturned state laws that had been passed by their legislatures. The law was narrowly endorsed by Maryland voters by a 51-49 vote. In Washington, when all the votes were tabulated it appeared that the law would be endorsed by the voters by a 52 to 48 margin. The present position with respect to Washington State was formally made public by the Governor on the 5th December signing into law the verdict of the voters in the latest election. It thus ushered in yet another state of the US to become another place wherein such deviant behavior would be the Law. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage Wednesday, Dec. 5 and weddings for gay and lesbian couples began in Washington on Sunday the 9th December, following the three-day waiting period after marriage licenses were issued earlier in the week. Indeed the photos published during the week following this allowance are abundant testimony of this transformation of public thinking on this issue.
  • In Minnesota, voters rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage. In this election Minnesota, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage in that state as only the union of a man and a woman by a 52-48 margin. This is the second time a state has rejected a constitutional marriage amendment. To date as noted above by me, 32 of the 50 states have adopted state constitutional marriage amendments.

There was one other disturbing development. In a number of political races abortion was a major issue, and in many of these races the pro-abortion candidate prevailed. Public opinion polls in the U.S. show increasing pro-life support, but in too many of these races, this support did not translate into political support. Politically and sociologically speaking as a country, the U.S. is more apparently divided on the day after the election than it has been in many generations. Congress remains divided, with the Republicans retaining control of the House of Representatives and actually picking up a few seats. Democrats retain control of the Senate and also picked up a few seats. Both political parties can legitimately claim a mandate for what are in many cases diametrically opposite views on where the nation should be heading.

It remains to be seen how the U.S. political environment plays out in specific cases wherein the family and family values are threatened in the coming years.

Pollsters got a hint of the coming change in the attitudes of the US voters but only gradually. Recent national surveys have shown shifting attitudes toward same-sex marriage, with a majority of Americans now approving of marriages between two men or two women. A June 2012 CNN/ORC poll, for example, reflected such a shift in opinion in the U.S. Support has been growing for decades for this kind of different thinking pattern. In the 1990s, most Americans told pollsters they did not know anyone close to them who was gay. By 2010, the number of Americans who said they had a gay or lesbian close friend or family member was 49%. This year, that number stands at 60%. However, it is regrettably submitted that the perceived change went unnoticed by most of the work that was produced by the traditionalists on this topic. Instead of getting prepared for what was evident to the acute analysts, the advocates of the NGO community in favor of the family only were satisfied in re-stating that they were “winning” and that they were against the result of some conspiracy.

The US polls notwithstanding on 17 November 2012 French people protested against gay marriage bill. There were widespread marches in Lyon, Toulouse and Marseilles, as well as in Paris. Tens of thousands of people have protested in France against plans to legalize same-sex marriage and allow gay couples to adopt. Police said at least 70,000 took to the streets in Paris; there were other demonstrations in the cities of Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille. They included Catholic groups and other backers of traditional family rights. Thus despite opposition from more than 1,000 mayors and the Catholic Church, he present French socialist government had approved a bill on the issue earlier this month which will be debated by parliament in January.

Protesters in Paris wore pink T-shirts and scarves and carried pink balloons emblazoned with images of a man and woman holding two children’s hands. “A child needs a father and a mother, he needs the paternal and the maternal side and with this bill that might not be possible any more,” said one protestor, Marthe Vignault quoted by the BBC “That’s the way it is and we can’t go against nature.” As lready noted by me earlier, the head of the French Council of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, recently described gay marriage as “the ultimate deceit”.

In a historic turnaround, the ballot box is showing America’s shifting attitudes about same-sex marriage. After gay marriage rights died at the polls dozens of times in the past, on this Election Day they passed in two states. Rarely do popular votes reflect such dramatic social changes.

Election Day, however, brought two major additional gains for proponents of same-sex marriage: Wisconsin elected America’s first openly lesbian senator, Democrat Tammy Baldwin, and President Obama became the first President of the US to openly support same-sex marriage and get re-elected. [12]

This American evolution has now finally reached the corridors of the US Supreme Court as the SC Justices are to hear Two Challenges to Gay Marriage which should, arguendo, settle this matter a legal controversy as far as the US is concerned. The Supreme Court announced on 30th November that it would enter the national debate over this burning controversy by agreeing to hear two cases challenging state and federal laws that define marriage to include only unions of a man and a woman. [13]

The point in issue in these two cases being that one of the cases, from California, could establish or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The justices could also rule on narrower grounds that would apply only to marriages in California. The second case, from New York, challenges a federal law that requires the federal government to deny benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions.

The court’s move comes against the backdrop of a rapid shift in public attitudes about same-sex marriage, with recent polls indicating that a majority of Americans support allowing such unions. After the elections last November, the number of states authorizing same-sex marriage increased by half, to nine. Decisions in these cases are expected before June 2013.

The California Case

In the California case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144, filed in 2009 by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, the suit prayed that California voters had violated the federal Constitution the previous year when they overrode a decision of the state’s Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages. A federal judge in San Francisco agreed, issuing a broad decision that said the Constitution required the state to allow same-sex couples to marry. The decision had been stayed by a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, also in San Francisco, affirmed the decision. But the majority relied on narrower grounds that seemed calculated to avoid Supreme Court review or, at least, attract the vote of the presumed swing member of that court, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt, writing for the majority, relied heavily on a 1996 majority opinion from Justice Kennedy in Romer v. Evans, which struck down a Colorado constitutional amendment that had banned the passage of laws protecting gay men and lesbians. The voter initiative in California, known as Proposition 8, had done something similar, Judge Reinhardt wrote. That reasoning, he added, meant that the ruling was confined to California:

“We do not doubt the importance of the more general questions presented to us concerning the rights of same-sex couples to marry, nor do we doubt that these questions will likely be resolved in other states, and for the nation as a whole, by other courts,” he wrote.

“For now,” he said, “it suffices to conclude that the people of California may not, consistent with the federal Constitution, add to their state Constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of their right to use the official designation that the state and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class.”

The Supreme Court has several options while reviewing the decision. It could reverse it, leaving California’s ban on same-sex marriage in place. It could affirm it on the narrower theory, which would allow same-sex marriage in California but not require it elsewhere. Or it could address the broader question of whether the Constitution requires states to allow such marriages at all or were void ab initio.

Brian S. Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, said the court should address the broader question but say no. “What’s at stake,” he said, “is whether the Constitution demands a redefinition of marriage and whether states can even vote on this issue.”

The New York Matter

The second case the court agreed to hear is United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307, challenges a part of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. Section 3 of the law defines marriage as between only a man and a woman for the purposes of more than 1,000 federal laws and programs. (Another part of the law, not before the court, says that states need not recognize same-sex marriages from other states.)

The case concerns two New York City women, Edith Windsor and Clara Spyer, who got married in 2007 in Canada. Ms. Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor would have inherited her property if she were considered a spouse. But 1996 DOMA law did not allow the Internal Revenue Service to treat Ms. Windsor as a surviving spouse, and she faced a possible taxation of about $360,000 that a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage would not have had to pay.

Ms. Windsor sued, and in October the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, struck down the 1996 law. The decision was the second from a federal appeals court to do so, joining one in May from a court in Boston. The Windsor case made its way to the Supreme Court unusually quickly because the parties had filed an appeal from the trial court’s decision in the case, which also struck down the law, even before the appeals court had ruled. [14]

The Obama administration’s attitude toward same-sex marriage and the 1996 law has shifted over time. Until 2011, the Justice Department defended the law, a Statute, in court, as it typically does for all acts of Congress by the executive branch of the US government. In February 2011, though, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he and President Obama had concluded that the law was unconstitutional and unworthy of defense in court, though he added that the administration would continue to enforce the law. In May of 2012 however, Mr. Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. In this case the record is clear that because of this policy shift of the President the Justice Department stepped aside; however, House Republicans intervened to defend the law. They are represented in this crucial litigation by Paul D. Clement, a former solicitor general in the Bush administration. [15]

CONCLUSIONS

In summing up the ethos of my submission above, it needs to be stressed that the overall examination of the international activities of the state and the UN shows that pro-family traditionalists’ agenda is squarely opposed by the leading Western countries whose such conduct has seldom been pointed out or critiqued as has been done in this presentation. [16] Irrespective of the causation, it is also a fact that the this sorry state of affairs has come about on account of, quite visible apathy, to put it mildly, in the traditionalists briefs, in evolving enforcement methodology of the vast goodwill that they have enjoyed historically. The question that needs to be responded to is: how one can improve this deplorable state of affairs? The short answer is by increasing reliance on the efforts of professionals to aid and assist the traditionalists’ elements.

In short therefore it needs to be stressed is that both the states and the UN are to be looked at differently while analyzing the general inquiry if either of them or both are to be held responsible for the lack of strengthening the system of family envisaged by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UN being merely an agency of sovereign states, acts only when the relevant members countries wish to act in a certain manner; the action of states is thus the major pivotal that has to be focused upon while examining this subject.

The matter relating to “demographic decline” needs some special mention here. Although the UN has under various well established legal documents made concerted effort to reduce the expected increase in numbers of people in various regions of the world, or keep at least in check the bludgeoning population of the planet.

I must say that this realization has prime facie, nothing to do directly with normative adherence to the Family under ARRICLE 16 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However because of the concerns for a pro-life stand of the traditionalists in this perspective, it can be said that this policy of curtailment of population growth, does not philosophically or semantically speaking, easily come within the concept of the Family as had been written upon historically by various authors.

This process of the UN is achieved by this international institution, through agencies such as UNDP; nevertheless, there are clearly softer connotations of this drive toward the Russian government’s present problem qua its population decrease in the last two decades. This is the problem relating to population decline and the resultant concerns with this phenomenon. This is a facet that has some validity in the eyes of many and is romantically described as the European demographic winter [17].

Regardless of what develops, we will never give up. [18] We will continue to do everything within our power to defend and promote the family in the U.S. and around the world [19]. True there are challenges ahead, but the basic fundamental point about the sense of ordinary people to ultimately side with spiritual and faith based decency remains strong and vibrant.

 

 * D. Phil.; BA Honors in Juris. (JD), MA. M. Litt. , (Oxon), DCL (Columbia), DIA (Harvard), Of Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister at Law, UK, Attorney at Law, US, Senior Advocate Supreme Court (QC); President Pakistan Ecology Council; President, Pakistan Family Forum; Chairman, Pakistan League for Human Rights, is listed in leading bibliographical works, e.g. Who’ Who in America, Bibliographical Encyclopedia of Pakistan, Directory of American Scholars & Who’s Who in World; amongst his major international recognitions include the Massachusetts Senate Honor of Recognition 1994 & 1995 for his work in international human rights and education, the grant of highly prestigious King Faisal Award in 2005. He remains internationally acclaimed leading scholar in the fields of humanitarian & human rights’ laws for which he was on faculty at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy, in Switzerland at the Caux based MRA Center, Geneva International Studies Center and Henry Dunant Institute; in the fields of general comparative principles of jurisprudence & constitutional laws besides strategic studies, he has been a member of faulty and a plenary speaker in the UK at leading universities e.g. Oxford, Cambridge and in London by important meetings of think tanks e.g. International  Institute of Strategic Studies, London, of which he became the first Islamic Scholar from South Asia to be elected to a full membership  in 1980. ;  he is member of the International Planning and Selection Committees of the World Congress of Families and has been a Plenary Speaker in each of the last five World Congresses of Families held in Geneva, Mexico, Warsaw, Amsterdam and in Madrid; besides being a Plenary Speaker in many leading international conferences on Family such as Doha & Kuala Lumpur in 2004 , in London 2006  and 2009 and in   Antalya, Turkey, 2010, as foremost expert in the domain of environment laws and in Strategic Affairs since the last three decades he has lectured in many places.

In 1984 he was specially invited by UNESCO to frame a new human right called “the right to be different” which was  accepted by the UN at special International conference held  for ushering in the era of the “Third Generation of Human Rights” in Mexico in December 1984. & this particular work is now a UN Document available in different UN languages. His most recent international addresses were in the famed Rhodes Forum debates in the 2012 Session in Greece and these addresses have been translated in other languages, such as Russian.

For his  many reformative works in the field of women’ rights he has special recognition and in Paris in  the UNESCO  conference on rights of women in Muslim countries his advanced thesis contained in “Women’s needed legal reforms” in Muslim countries he won special recognition.

In 2003 he was made the David M. Kennedy Visiting Scholar & Professor of International Studies, Kennedy Center & in 1989 he was appointed  a Visiting fellow & professor of Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, and in 1990 was made a professor and visiting Fellow of Human Rights Program of Harvard Law School he has been Advisor to four different civilian Pakistani Prime Ministers on Foreign Affairs & Law, Member & Delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission, and the UN Sub Commission on Human Rights, Geneva.

He has also represented Pakistan delegations to the UN GA several times and was the leader of Pakistan Delegation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a member of the drafting committee of the ICC Draft Constitution which was adopted in Rome.

Currently the UN Special Ambassador for Family, Special UN Ambassador for Aging, the President of the American Institute of South Asian Strategic Studies, Boston; In 2004 he became the first Pakistan scholar to be given a distinguished Visiting Professorship in India at the JNU in Delhi, & in which capacity he delivered Memorial Lectures at Banaras Hindu University, Universities of Mumbai, Goa and at Ambedkar Center at Aurangabad University on many important topics of Constitutional Law.

As an expert in environment laws he was invited by the UN in 2008 through UNDP to Chair the World Ecology Conference in Seoul, South Korea; for his expertise in foreign affairs, he has been invited by numerous think tanks in the world:  in the US e.g. invited, inter alia, by the Carnegie & Brookings Institutions, in London, by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, in France by International Human Rights, Strasbourg, in Italy by the  San Remo based International Institute & in India SAPRA Foundation, Institute of Strategic and Policy Studies, Bombay, Nehru Foundation & Y.B. Chuvan Centers in Mumbai and the Gandhi Foundation  in Delhi and in China  by leading scholarly NGO’s dealing with the subjects of: UN programs Abroad including education, human rights, women’s legal issues and those of the family.

 

 [1] SEE GENERALLY : An Analysis of the Status and Evangelism Strategy — South African ...
http://www.satsonline.org/userfiles/Final%20thesis.pdf Quotes this author by observing:
such as Dr Farooq Hassan, Special UN Ambassador for the Family, .... academic works by scholars such as Dr F. Hassan (2005)

 [2] See many works of the present author, e.g. Moscow Demographic Summit May 2011: The UN’s role in international population policy, reproductive and sexual health, and reproductive rights: evaluation of declining birthrates; (HEREINAFTER AS MOSCOW ADDRESS) : See Link: http://www.demographia.ru/eng/articles/index.html?idR=80&idArt=1929

 [3] See for background analysis my work in my address given at first Family Values Congress on 2nd and 3rd June 2010 at Baden Powell House, 65-67 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London, on the subject of : THE SANCITITY OF LIFE; FAITH AS THE UNDERPINNING OF FAMILY; ( HEREINAFTER AS LONDON ADDRESS) Link:http://www.worldcongress.org/wcfreg.spkrs/wcf.reg.uk.hassan.htmhttp://www.worldcongress.org/wcfreg.spkrs/wcf.reg.uk.hassan.htm

 [4] See note supra

 [5] See my recent work entitled: UN with US backing gives gay rights an unprecedented international formidable boast, (HEREINAFTER AS GENEVA ADDRESS) Link: http://www.profam.org/2011/thc.hassan110622.doc The international community at the UN, in a meeting of the GENEVA based Human Rights Council, June 2012, gave the gay rights the endorsement that would have tangible impact the world over. The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and people with different sexual orientation for the first time ever on Friday 17th June, by passing a Resolution hailed as “truly historic” by the US Secretary of State, and other backers and merely decried, though in a feeble way, by a few African and some Muslim countries. The Declaration, though cautiously worded, never-the-less expressed “grave concern” about abuses because of sexual orientation and ordered the commissioning a global report on discrimination against gays.

But activists, including the world’s leading human rights’ NGOs, called it an important shift on an issue that has divided the global body for decades, and they credited the personal efforts of Obama administration’s push for gay rights at home in the US and abroad.

 [6] In comparison it must be frankly admitted that despite the huge numbers of supporters of traditionalists, thy have not been able to rise any funds for even ensuing the presence of notable supporters that they may have at important international meetings & conferences. On basis of empiricism, this author states categorically that this represents a terrible state of affairs in the ranks of the pro-family advocates.

 [7] See the views of a renowned author in recent book, Born Again: Christian Right Globalized: Jennifer Butler, 2006 who cites me several times regarding my views on Family issues and in an Islamic milieu while analyzing issues relating to human cloning ban, progressive religious leaders, sex trafficking, Christian Right’s religious compulsion and policies in United State’s Religious movements.

 [8] Family From Sanya to Geneva: An Interview With Dr. Farooq Hassan IslamOnline.net “Interview of Dr. Farooq Hassan, an expert in international law and human rights”, via Instant Messenger on Tuesday, February 7, 2005 Link: this live interview is available on being posted at:
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1162385868342&pagename=Zone-English-Euro_Muslims%2FEMELayout

 [9] For my views on such issues see my addresses in the Rhodes Forum (HEREINAFTER AS RHODES ADDRESS), 2012, 10th Anniversary Session: THE FAMILY IN A CHANGING WORLD & DEMOGRAHIC PERSPCTIVES FOR HUMAINTY —
http://www.demographia.ru/eng/articles/index.html?idR=67&idArt=2146
and
http://www.worldcongress.org/WCFreg/docugauesments/The-Family-in-a-Changing-World-and-demographic-perspectives-for-humanity.pdf

and my second address: THE NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY:
http://www.worldcongress.org/WCFreg/documents/the-national-population-policy-address-in-RHODES-2012.pdf

 [10] See my address on the question of ECHR in the matter of overturning the Irish ban on abortions (HEREINAFTER as DUBLIN ADDRESS): EUROPEAN COURT’S RULING AGAINST IRELAND’S ABORTION LAW it is important to recall that European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, released its judgment on 16 DECEMBER 2010 in ABC v. Ireland, a case in which three unnamed women claimed a right to abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights sufficient to trump Ireland’s own pro-life constitutional provisions. The ECHR held there was no right to abortion under the convention, which is binding on 47 nations. Thus, each nation may decide for itself what to do about abortion. While this is good news, it shouldn’t be surprising — the convention never mentions the word "abortion: LINKS: http://www.demographia.ru/eng/articles/index.html?idR=76&idArt=1833 , see further: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/255456/good-news-bad-news-european-abortion-decision-william-saunders# and my comments on this ruling in NATIONAL REVIEW: http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/reply/255456/34998

 [11] Se note Supra

 [12] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/us/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-two-cases-on-gay-marriage.html?_r=0

 [13]Two leading American lawyers Theodore B. Olson and David Boies who were antagonists in Bush v. Gore are united in the California marriage case and arguing for the perspectives of the anti-traditionalists.

 [14] There was reason to think that Justice Elena Kagan, an Obama appointee & who had been my esteemed colleague as the Dean of Harvard Law School, may not hear an appeal from the Boston case because she had worked on it or a related case as United States Solicitor General. The current Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., however, gave the court a number of other options probably partly to make sure that a case of such importance could be heard by a full nine-member court.

 [15] The Windsor case is thus likely to feature a rematch between Mr. Clement and Mr. Verrilli, who were adversaries in 2012 in the arguments over Mr. Obama’s health care law.

 [16] Threats To Family & Marriage: International Perspectives , Nov. 21-22, 2003, /Mesa, Arizona, Link: (HERENAFTER AS ARIZONA ADDRESS) www.unitedfamilies.org/hassan_article

See further for my critiques of the Islamic System as well, in Needed reforms in the Family Laws of Muslim Countries, Farooq Hassan, 7th Annual World Family Forum Proceedings 2006,( HEREINAFFTR AS BYU UTAH ADDRESS) Link: www.worldfamilypolicy.org/forum 2006

 [17] Response to Demographic Winter: Sanctity of Family in different Cultures To nurture Free, Vital and Productive Families, Address given by Dr. Farooq Hassan in the Plenary Session to The World Congress of Families IV, Warsaw, Poland, 11 May 2007,( HEREINAFTER AS WARSAW ADDRESS) See LINK: www.worldcongress.org/wcf4.spkrs/wcf4.hassan.htm

......A perusal of this presentation reveals the fact that my address contained the original ideas now circulated as DEMOGRAHIC WINTER; since then a few more authors have worked on this subject including the making of documentaries; regrettably, however, the moral credit due to the earlier authors is not clearly visible in these later works.

 [18] See generally, Impact of Religion & Law on Family address given at the International Conference on Family as a Value: In Religion, Tradition And Modernity" on 26-27 November 2010. Antalya/TURKEY organized for the Journalists and Writers Foundation by Hon. Muharrem Atlığ, IDP Secretary General,( HEREINAFTER AS TURKEY ADDTESS); LINK: http://www.greaterdemocracy.org/archives/1174; In this truly International Conference on the subject of: “Reflections on Family as a Virtue With Respect to Religion, Tradition and Modernity”. During these significant deliberations on the vital theme of the family I went back to go to the roots of the concept of “family” from multiple perspectives. My comments in particular examined the vibrant ability of this core institution of mankind to withstand in different cultures the process of modernization. As such this Address of mine touches upon issues that are vitally fundamental in the on-going heated debates concerning family from different perspectives.

 [19] See my work entitled Multidimensional challenges ahead for WCF VI in Madrid WCF Conference, May 25th −27th 2012, containing the ethos of my views on this theme (HEREINAFTER AS MADRID ADDRESS) before the said meeting:
http://congresomundial.es/wp-content/uploads/AAA_Multidimensional_challenges_ahead_for_WCF_VI_in_Madrid.pdf:

See further Dr. FAROOQ HASSAN : The Influence of UN, International and Policies on the family: effects on developing nations. For my Amsterdam address to the WCF V. (HEREINAFTER AS AMSTERDAM ADDRESS) —http://www.worldcongress.org/wcf5.spkrs/wcf5.hassan.htm,

See also http://www.refdag.nl/media/2009/20090812_DAY_3_HASSAN_UN_etc_Influence_on_Family.pdf


Дата публикации: 2013-06-05 17:33:46