On November 1, 2012 Xtra reported:
At the close of a divisive Quebec City conference, 162 countries adopted a new declaration that underlines their dedication to fighting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
But the group appears to have nixed a more clearly worded endorsement of gay rights from its declaration.
The Quebec Declaration, named for the host city of the conference that adopted it, is a series of 38 commitments approved by the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (IPU). The IPU is a collection of political representatives that works to establish guidelines to promote democracy and human rights amongst its member states.
The conference was the scene of a heated exchange between Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
In a four-minute speech to the congress, Kadaga told the other parliamentarians that “if homosexuality is a value for the people of Canada, we have no problem with that — it’s for them and their country. But they should not seek to force the people of Uganda to embrace homosexuality, because we are not a colony of Canada. Their problems are not our problems.”
It was a vow to fight a hard-line approach taken by Baird.
“I firmly blieve it is the role of the state to protect its people regardless of sex, sexuality or faith,” Baird told th IPU conference.
“It is cases like [murdered Ugandan gay activist David Kato’s] that drive me to raise this issue, often to the discomfort of the people sitting across the table, as I did at recent meetings in Australia and New York,” Baird told the plenary. “I firmly believe it is the role of the state to protect its people regardless of sex, sexuality or faith.”
Baird seemed to get his way, to an extent. Continued