Thursday, July 16, 2009

End of Lecture

Wow. I just got done partially digesting a letter written by Dr. Li-ann Thio to a dean at the New York University Law School in response to all of the critcism she has received as folks discover her anti-LGBT personal beliefs. I suppose that coming to NYU Law to lecture about "Human Rights in Asia" didn't seem quite so ironic and insulting to her as it is to some NYU faculty and many other folks in the United States.

If Dr. Thio ever makes it to NYU, the only lesson that may be learned in that lecture hall is that human rights are dependent upon one's geography, politics, religion, or government and, lest we forget, wealth and/or penis status. What constitutes a human right according to the United States is defined differently
by the government of Singapore. So, STFU.

From her letter:

"10. Now, as a scholar, I have not written about homosexuality and the law in any direct sense. Simply because it is not a research interest of mine, or has not been up till now. It is also an area which attracts a great deal of personal attack, which no sane person invites, as this current furore shows. The only time I can think of where I indirectly referenced it in a law review article was in relation to issues of definition and how one identifies a 'human right.' That is, is a human right natural, is it a subject of political preference, an object of political capture? If human rights are meant to be universal, why is there so much local resistance? Is same sex marriage, for instance, a human right? Some may like it to be as a matter of personal conviction or politics, but it is not a global right, certainly not a customary international law norm, though there have been treaty-based interpretations of it e.g. ICCPR and ECHR jurisprudence. That is how I teach the subject.
I see it as a regional legal right, a contested one at the UN (though as a scholar, I will observe that the dominant view is to see sexual orientation as a right without defining the broad term) and a constitutional/ civic rights issue in many countries, particularly those in western liberal democracies (though not limited to the 'West')."

That's it folks. Save the cost of airfare. Move along. Nothing to see here.

End of Lecture.

(I mentioned this controversy in the post "Refecting" and I have more to say relating to this subject........stay tuned.)

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