Monday 5 March 2012

How does the UN universally declare marriage rights? #factcheck

Cardinal Keith O'Brien in his Sunday Telegraph article said:

"In Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage is defined as a relationship between men and women."
"The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is crystal clear: marriage is a right which applies to men and women, 'the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State'."
So let's take at look at how crystal clear that is. Article 16 which applies to marriage states:
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

So that doesn't as the Cardinal stated say that it is between one man and one one woman, merely that men and women of full age are entitled to the right to marry without limitation, providing there is free and full consent. It is not as crystal clear as he had made out, it doesn't define who the spouses in each marriage should be, indeed the language is rather neutral in what it actually says on the make up of the spouses, for the record it doesn't even specify monogamy.

The thrust of the Cardinal's message was the impact that equal marriage would have on children but other articles also mention family:

Article 12:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Therefore surely calling families that don't have mixed sex parents a grotesque subversion is surely attacking the honour and reputation of those family members.

Article 25:
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Hang on the Cardinal said:
"All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father;"

"Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father."
So the Cardinal appears to be picking which parts of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights he wants to adhere to. All children are entitled to the same social protection.

If the Cardinal should not pick and choose Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to make a point, just a Christians shouldn't pick and choose verses to prove their point. Now should he try and interpret them by adding words that aren't there into them.

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