Illinois Representative Mike Quigley is
the second politician to publicly condemn the United Nations
president's anti-gay remarks.
The 64th session of the
United Nations General Assembly opened Friday with a press conference
by its new president, Ali Abdussalam Treki, a Libyan diplomat.
When asked about a UN resolution that
calls for the universal decriminalization of being gay, Treki called
the matter “very sensitive.”
“[T]hat matter is very sensitive,
very touchy,” Treki said. “As a Muslim, I am not in favor of it
… it is not accepted by the majority of countries. My opinion is
not in favor of this matter at all. I think it's not really
acceptable by our religion, our tradition”
“It is not acceptable in the majority
of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking
it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not,” he added.
The resolution, sponsored by France and
the Netherlands, met with strong resistance from a group of Arab
leaders who challenged it with a statement condemning being gay. The
Arab-backed statement decried the decriminalization of being gay
because it might lead to “the social normalization, and possibly
the legitimization, of many deplorable acts including pedophilia.”
Vatican officials also balked at the pro-gay resolution, saying it
would promote gay marriage.
Congressman Quigley, a Democrat and
longtime ally to the gay and lesbian community, responded on
“I respect that there is a healthy
diversity of viewpoints across our country and around the world, but
to preserve that very freedom of expression, human rights need to be
our common denominator,” Quigley told On Top Magazine in an
“With regard to the gentleman's
remarks, what's 'not acceptable' is drawing geographic borders around
equality,” he added.
Quigley, who won a special election in
April to fill the seat vacated by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, joined
Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on
the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in criticizing the president's
In a statement released Tuesday, Rep.
Ros-Lehtinen said: “The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi
shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by
advocates of hate and intolerance. Likewise, the leadership of the
UN Development Program is held by the Iranian regime, which denies
the presence of gays in Iran even as it murders them and other
“Congress must demand better by
enacting pending legislation that would leverage our contributions to
the UN to produce sweeping, meaningful reform in that body,” she