From the Observatory of the
Political Network for Values

Serious events in the European Parliament and in the UN Human Rights Commission darken the international scene

Two events having occurred on two consecutive days, June 24 and 25, complicate the global panorama and clearly show how regional and international organizations are used to impose ideologies. Supranational structures that should work to solve real and common problems of the countries that comprise – and finance – them violate their sovereignty and exercise a kind of “ideological colonialism”.
The approval of the Matić Report. The first event we refer to is the approval of the controversial Report on the Situation of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the EU, in the Frame of Women’s Health by the European Parliament (EP), prepared by Predrag Fred Matić, member of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and the EP Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). The text presents abortion as a right that the public powers must guarantee throughout the territory of the European Union (EU).
The Matić Report, voted on Thursday, June 24, is now a resolution due to the fact that it received 378 votes in favor, 255 votes against and 42 abstentions. You can see how each legislator voted here. The left-wing parliamentary groups (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, The Greens, and The Left) and Renew Europe, made up of liberals who present themselves as centrists, voted as if they were a single political conglomerate. As well as 36 MEPs of the European People's Party (EPP), including 2 of its vice-presidents, voted in favor of the report.
If good news can be rescued, it is that the vote produced a kind of X-ray that clearly showed which side each MEP is on concerning the recognition of the fundamental right to life, and it showed that they are not a few, and that they are perseverant and brave.
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) political groups, as well as the 12 Hungarian MEP’s from the Fidesz Party, who until recently were in the EPP, opposed the report in bloc. A group of parliamentarians, including some members of the Political Network for Values ​​(PNfV), made an effort to raise attention as to why vote against the draft resolution. The ERC filed an inadmissibility appeal to prevent the report from being voted on in the plenary. It was rejected. Later, an alternative resolution was presented, signed by Margarita de la Pisa, from the Spanish Vox party, who also had an important counterweight role in the FEMM Committee. The before mentioned resolution was further signed by Hermann Tertsch, from the same party, Ryszard Antoni Legutko and Jadwiga Wiśniewska, from the Polish Law and Justice Party, and Kinga Gál, Edina Tóth and Balázs Hidvéghi, from the Hungarian Fidesz party, among others. It did not succeed either. It is worth seeing the speeches of some of the mentioned politicians during the debate on the Report. Read or watch them here.
It has become clear that the current EP legislature, which ends in 2024, has an attitude favorable to guidelines and ideas that violate fundamental values ​​and undermine the purpose and principles on which the European Union was founded.
The Matić Report is radical. It ignores the sovereignty of the member states, wants to repeal conscientious objection for doctors and health institutions and wishes that member states apply coercive measures to prevent its practice. It talks about pregnant trans-men and asks to provide primary and secondary students (children and adolescents) sexual education guided by the ideological gender perspective. You can read the full report here.
The decision of the European Parliament is not binding, but offers the political and narrative support to promote abortion in the laws of the countries of the EU under the argument that it is recognized as a right by the majority of the EP. It is a kind of "soft law" that will be used to pressure Poland, which has progressively restricted abortion, and all those who take that path, or Malta, where abortion is totally prohibited.
Our network sent a letter to the members of the FEMM Committee on May 5 questioning and highlighting the controversial points of the Matić Report and asking for its rejection, and with the same purpose, together with the European Christian Political Movement, we advocated the sending of letters from EU national deputies to the President of the EP, David Sassoli, and to the MEPs who represent them. In addition, various citizen organizations got active to prevent its approval: the One of Us Federation, Institute Ordo Iuris, and the European Center for Law and Justice, among others. On the CitizenGo platform through a petition almost half a million citizens asked the MEPs to vote against the draft resolution.
The presentation of the Madrigal-Borloz report. The second event was the presentation, on Friday, June 25, of the Report on Gender Theory, also called the Report on the Law of Inclusion, by the UN independent expert, Víctor Madrigal-Borloz, at the 47th session of the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations. The text presents gender identity as a right that must be considered “universal, inalienable, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated with all other rights”.
It states that the notion that there are only two genders based on the sex assigned at birth is a preconceived idea that “must be questioned so that all humanity can enjoy human rights.” It also states that gender is a social construction without a necessary link to the biological sex and that personal identity is a subjective reality, is not necessarily fixed and is founded on self-perception and free self-determination. Therefore, there is a great diversity of gender identities beyond the binary male-female stereotype. And those who do not recognize this, even legally, reinforce "the asymmetries of power that feed oppression and exclusion." Furthermore, it says that whoever questions gender theory – and calls it "gender ideology” – supports "three institutional engines that perpetuate stigma and discrimination: criminalization, pathologization, and demonization."
For the independent expert, the “fundamental duties” of the states are: to allow everyone to freely determine their gender identity, offer simple administrative mechanisms for the legal recognition of it and to prevent, prosecute and punish gender violence and discrimination. He recommends implementing laws, public policies, and mechanisms for access to justice guided by a cross-gender approach, also ensuring that "minors (children and adolescents) have access to the recognition of their gender identity", providing in schools a "comprehensive education on gender and sexuality”, and supporting citizen organizations "led by or serving LGBTQ people" with "solid funding opportunities."
Throughout the report, it is emphasized that it is important to assume an intersectional analysis of violence and discrimination. The data is relevant because it links gender with the problems of race, migration, poverty and vice versa. Thus, the analysis of any type of "oppression" must also pass through the "gender filter”. It further alleges that the legal recognition and integration of trans-women does not affect the fight for women's equality, not even in sports, where biological and trans-women compete together, nor does it jeopardize their security when sharing the same spaces, bathrooms, for example. Any criticism in that regard "is not supported by evidence", he says.
As it can be seen, the Madrigal-Borloz report is a radical document. You can read it in full here. The entire text is built from a fallacious assumption: that the controversial concept gender is univocal and universally accepted, and that it has a solid international legislative body, a binding doctrine, free from any discussion. This does not correspond to reality.
It is significant that the independent expert says in paragraph 5 of the report that some contributions he received "contained hate speech and were excluded ad portas", which is a contradiction, since the expression means that "it is rejected without going into analysis". How can Madrigal claim that these contributions contained hate speech if he did not analyze them? And if they really are what he says, why does he exclude them and not use them as evidence of intolerance? It was Madrigal who made a formal call to send contributions and specified that all those that met the deadline and formal requirements would be considered and published as a kind of online annex to the report. We are aware that almost half a hundred critical contributions to gender ideology were sent from all continents, among others, by Family Watch International, the International Development Coalition, the American College of Pediatricians, Human Rights and Family Policy Institute of Slovakia, and the Tanzania Family Strengthening Association. You can read some here. Our network also sent a contribution to the report, which you can read here. We will have to wait for the list of contributions to be released to see which ones were excluded and verify if it was not a simple and outright censorship.
Among the actions we carry out, we also invite politicians and parliamentarians from various countries to ask their governments not to support or endorse the report. Here you can read (in Spanish), for example, the request from the Dominican Republic articulated by Pelegrín Castillo, former Minister of Energy and Mines and member of our network.  Furthermore, together with Family Watch International, a technical note was prepared and sent to Ambassadors and representatives of the UN member states.
During the presentation and discussion of the report, on June 25, several country representatives supported the document, the majority from Europe and America. No government raised objections or reservations. See the session here and here. In addition, the creation of a Group of Friends of the Mandate made up of 27 countries was announced: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the United States. During the entire debate, there was only one critical position, the brave intervention of Rubén Navarro, member of the Committee of Experts of our network, on behalf of CitizenGo. Watch his speech here.
The fact that there was no objections or reservations to the Madrigal-Borloz report by the member states is very worrying as it contributes to establishing customary law on this issue. The principle of customary international law holds that governments can remain bound by widely accepted international norms and standards, even if they have not formally accepted them if those standards are widely practiced. On the other hand, the "persistent objector rule" in international law states that, if a State persistently objects to a new rule of customary international law emerging during the formation of that rule, then the objecting State is exempt from the rule once it crystallizes into law. In other words, the persistent objector rule provides states with an “escape route” from binding force. The silence of the governments is what is closing that "escape route."
As if this was not enough, with a clear path, Madrigal-Borloz announced that, at the next plenary of the UN General Assembly, next October, he will present another report entitled "Exclusion practices", with a special focus on those that reject the gender theory and, in accordance with the work agenda he announced for the next few years, in 2022 he will present a report on "colonialism" and another on religion and discrimination.
What to do?
Although the adoption of the Matić Report and the presentation of the Madrigal-Borloz Report darken the current panorama, we must remember the lesson that our last two Transatlantic Dialogues have taught us: the advancement of the culture of death is neither untouchable nor final – it can be stopped and reversed if politicians who recognize human dignity and the value of life, family and fundamental freedoms articulate assertively, intelligently and boldly. We can move forward even in the worst-case scenarios if there is political will and proactive realism.
If you live in any of the countries that is part of the European Union, denounce the radical nature of the recent EP resolution on abortion (Matić Report) to your government, emphasize its non-binding nature and promote statements of rejection, especially from the national Parliament and other political institutions of your country. It is important to generate and strengthen a network of political and social support that encourages the exercise of their own sovereignty and not to give in to the pressures that will want local laws to be “adjusted” to the resolution.
Regarding the Madrigal-Borloz Report, we believe that first, the members of our network should become aware of the seriousness of what the independent expert has been preparing, especially regarding the customary law for this matter. We recognize and defend the intrinsic dignity of every human being, without exception, and we firmly denounce all violence, including that carried out against people with homosexual tendencies or who consider themselves to be of a different sex than the biological one. We can and must raise our voices against that violence and fight against unjust discrimination. However, what the 7 reports presented so far by Madrigal-Borloz are trying to do is something else: to impose and naturalize an ideology, the implementation of which entails serious consequences for children, adolescents and women, and affects the legal status of the person and the family. We must make sure that governments, legislators and judges are aware of it, and make use of all the legal mechanisms at their disposal to avoid it. Something similar to what happened in the same session on the same occasion with the Report on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Women and Girls, that is, on abortion, and which received various very timely criticisms. Check them out here.
Do you want to take the initiative in your country? Count on us to help you. Do you have any other ideas, or do you think another approach is better? Let us know. PNfV exists to face these challenges and to build realistic, viable and effective alternatives together.
I selected some news and OP ED’s that I considered important for you to read:

Spain approves a Transsexuality Law that affects minors; feminists and transsexuals criticize it

Madrid | The Law for Real and Effective Equality of Trans Persons was approved on Tuesday, June 29 by the Council of Ministers of Spain and provides, among other things, that minors under 12 and 13 years of age change their sex with judicial authorization, and from the age of 14 as a simple administrative procedure. The majority of the population questions its fundamental aspects, and feminist groups and some people who assume themselves as transsexuals have criticized it: “it embarrasses us”, they said. Keep reading here.
US bishops to draft document on Eucharistic coherence and abortionist politicians

Washington | The bishops of the United States approved on June 19, at their annual assembly, the drafting of a document on the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic coherence. The document, addressed to Catholics, is necessary to clarify the problem of Catholic officials in the public sphere who defend policies contrary to the teaching of the Church on serious moral issues, such as President Joe Biden, who declares himself Catholic and supports the abortion and the gender agenda, funded with taxpayer money. Keep reading here.
Day of the Billings Method is introduced in one of the largest capitals of Brazil

Fortaleza | The capital of the Brazilian state Ceará is the first city in the country to pass a municipal law that enshrines the Billings Method Day (April 1), placing itself at the forefront of efforts to promote natural methods for the exercise of responsible parenthood. The initiative was promoted by councilor Jorge Pinheiro, a collaborator of the PNfV. Keep reading here.
Hungary protects children against ideological colonialism, EU bureaucrats declare war on them

Carlos Polo | On June 15, the Hungarian National Assembly approved by 157 votes to 1 a Law against Pedophilia, which toughens penalties for sexual offenses with minors, creates a national database for sex offenders and prohibits them from exercising some professions. In addition, it offers protection to children against premature sexualization and gender and/or LGBTQ. The new legislation sparked an unprecedented storm of diplomatic attacks and threats from other EU leaders. An article by Carlos Polo, member of our expert committee. Keep reading here.
“Down With Dictatorship”: Thousands of cubans demonstrate against communist regime

La Habana | Thousands of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday, July 11, in a number of cities to protest against human rights abuses, a lack of freedom, and a worsening economic situation in the communist-ruled country. Keep reading here.
We will not apologize for protecting our children

"When it comes to protecting our children, there is no question: we have zero tolerance for pedophiles, and we also insist that educating children about sexual orientation must be protected as an exclusive right of parents." An article by Zoltán Kovács, Hungary's Secretary for Communication and International Relations explaining the new child protection law. Read it here.
The time I had to apologize for America

“I was honored to serve our nation in the Trump administration. But in my role as U.S. special representative for Global Women’s Health, I found myself on a number of occasions having to apologize to foreign officials for what they viewed as attempted “ideological colonization” of their countries at the hands of the Clinton and Obama Administrations.” An article by Valerie Huber, former US special representative for Global Women's Health. Read the full article here.
Finally, if you have any relevant information that you would like us to include in the newsletters or want to share something about the work you are doing in your country for the protection, promotion and defense of fundamental rights and freedoms, feel free to contact me.
Diego Hernández
Director of Communication and Development for Iberoamerica
Political Network for Values
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