A recent decision by the Organization of American States to pass a resolution that would make efforts to criminalize human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation drew strong criticism from pro-family groups this week.
Pro-family groups said that the international lobby, which serves to promote regional solidarity among nations throughout North and South America, had pandered to the influence of numerous homosexual activist organizations.
"Once again, a political institution has been co-opted by the international homosexual movement," said Larry Jacobs, global coordinator of the World Congress of Families, in a statement.
Jacobs explained that as the majority of people across the Americas are opposed to homosexuality, the resolution could be considered a slap in the face to local, traditional culture and customs.
"Once again, a transnational organization has chosen to enlist with one side in the culture war, to the manifest displeasure of majorities in the nations they represent," he said.
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States, made up of 35 independent states, unanimously adopted on June 3 the "Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity" during its 38th session in Medellín, Colombia. The resolution condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, said theresolution was about promoting a culture that would oppose all forms of discrimination.
"This resolution is a bold first step toward ending violence and discrimination," Long highlighted in a statement. "For the resolution to have an impact, concrete changes in law and policy must follow."
Jacobs, however, argued that the notion of opposing anti-gay discrimination was wrong if it meant rejecting societal norms.
"Does anti-gay discrimination include laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman or limiting adoption to families with mothers and fathers? Would it require schools to affirm homosexuality and the other unhealthy perversions? Could it lead to 'hate crimes laws' and speech codes that criminalize dissent?" he posed.
The World Congress of Families, one of the largest international family advocate organisations active throughout the world, works to promote the values of the traditional family as the "basis of all healthy and progressive civilizations."