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One of the currents of “More Enigma than Dogma” is to explore “the enigma of our worth.” It assumes the particularity of the person, and our inestimable worth due to being created in God’s image and for His delight. This implies that we have human rights that are pan-human – for all persons irrespective of distinctions.

Recently I came upon as the Yogyakarta Principles as they relate to human rights:

“These Principles affirm the primary obligation of States to implement human rights. Each Principle is accompanied by detailed recommendations to States. The Principles also emphasise, however, that all actors have responsibilities to promote and protect human rights. Additional recommendations are therefore addressed to the UN human rights system, national human rights institutions, the media, non-governmental organisations, and others.”

Principle 1: The right to the universal enjoyment of human rights

Principle 2: The rights to equality and non-discrimination

Principle 3: The right to recognition before the law

Principle 4: The right to life

Principle 5: The right to security of the person

Principle 6: The right to privacy

Principle 7: The right to freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty

Principle 8:The right to a fair trial

Principle 9: The right to treatment with humanity while in detention

Principle 10:The right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Principle 11:The right to protection from all forms of exploitation, sale and
trafficking of human beings

Principle 12:The right to work

Principle 13: The right to social security and to other social Protection measures

Principle 14: The right to an adequate standard of living

Principle 15: The right to adequate housing

Principle 16: The right to education

Principle 17: The right to the highest attainable standard of health

Principle 18: Protection from medical abuses

Principle 19: The right to freedom of opinion and expression

Principle 20: The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association

Principle 21: The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Principle 22: The right to freedom of movement

Principle 23: The right to seek asylum

Principle 24: The right to found a family

Principle 25: The right to participate in public life

Principle 26: The right to participate in cultural life

Principle 27: The right to promote human rights

Principle 28: The right to effective remedies and redress

Principle 29: Accountability

Without too much analysis or debate, if we inserted ourselves as the primary subject of each Principle, we would likely agree “these apply to me.” Will we admit these also apply to others who are different?

What you may not see immediately:

The Yogyakarta Principles are meant specifically for the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Human rights violations targeted toward persons because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity constitute an entrenched global pattern of serious concern. They include extra-judicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, sexual assault and rape, invasions of privacy, arbitrary detention, denial of employment and education opportunities, and serious discrimination in relation to the enjoyment of other human rights.

Key human rights mechanisms of the United Nations have affirmed States’ obligation to ensure effective protection of all persons from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the international response has been fragmented and inconsistent, creating the need for a consistent understanding of the comprehensive regime of international human rights law and its application to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.

A key event in the development of the Principles was an international seminar of many of these legal experts that took place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University November 2006.

Now that you know this, do you still agree with me that these principles apply to the dignity and human rights of all persons irrespective of distinctions?

What Rights are not Implied:

The entire document is worth reading, and sifting through words, implications, and unspoken expectations. Generally this is a document that speaks to the worth of the person by insisting on rights to equal status of personhood before the law.

However there are some interesting phrases that suggest “promoting” sexual orientations and gender identities. This is not an age to freely debate this in the public square without scorn or misunderstanding, but it needs to be said that there are some rights not implied as “human rights”:

  • The right to insist that society must agree with all gender or sexual identity confusion.
  • The right to silence discussion about mental health issues as they relate to identity confusion.
  • The right to educate/coerce children into sexual or gender identities without parental care or consent.
  • The right to silence dissent to the above.

I welcome informed input and dissent.