Monday, 20 February 2012

Call immediately on Council of Europe representatives to reject anti-life/anti-family recommendation

Tomorrow (Tuesday 21 February 2012), the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will hold one of the final meetings on a draft “Recommendation on the rights and legal status of children and parental responsibilities”. (The  Council of Europe is made up of 47 Member States and is separate from the EU Council, Parliament, and Commission). This draft Recommendation is a dangerous and ideologically-driven document. Being a legally non-binding document, its purpose is to create so-called ‘soft law’ and mislead people about European opinion on the family.  The timing of this draft Recommendation could adversely affect relevant pending cases at the European Court of Human Rights.

Please do this immediately (including on Tuesday the 21st). You do not have to use all of the points below. Select a few for your letter, putting the points into your own words. You can email any and all Council of Europe Member-State permanent representatives. Make the reason for your email clear in the subject line.

Points to include in emails to permanent representatives:

The Recommendation: 
  • promotes IVF practices (principles 17 and 18), thus promoting the abuse (often lethal) of embryonic children, and creates confusion about whom is the actual mother and father. The separation of marriage from procreation, and the redefinition of parents and family, is an attack upon the best interests of the child who needs a mother and father in a heterosexual marriage, which is normative and best for children. 
  • supports gay married and civilly-partnered couples claiming the right to be considered parents in the case of IVF (paragraph 71 of the explanatory memorandum). This will only be used as a form of pressure by the gay lobby
  • promotes and normalises the practice of surrogacy (principles 7 and 8)
  • defines “parents” as defined by national law, rather than parents as “mother” and “father” (principle 2). This leaves the door open for gay couples to claim the title of parents and denies the need for a mother and father. It also creates confusion regarding sperm and egg donors, and surrogacy.
  • places heterosexual cohabitation and civil unions on the same footing as heterosexual marriage (principles 11 and 12)
  • claims (principle 1) that some children are discriminated against on grounds of their sexual orientation (e.g. homosexual) or gender identity (e.g. transgender).  This claim manipulates childhood for ideological ends and has no basis in international agreements
  • subjects the child’s best interests to private agreement, by allowing a parent to give parental responsibilities to a spouse or civil partner (principle 24.3)
  • redefines (principle 20) the authority of mothers and fathers to exclude the child’s moral and spiritual welfare, as defined and upheld in international and human rights documents (UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child; Preamble of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; Council of Europe’s own White Paper on legal consequences of parentage)
  • disregards the fact that many of the practices relating to relationships, procreation, and family included in this draft Recommendation are in fact illegal in many European countries.
  • attempts to go beyond, and contradicts, European and UN-agreed conventions and treaties which are legally binding – even though the Recommendation is non-binding on Member States and courts.
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