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BNP agrees to legalize same-sex marriage

Bangladesh Nationalist Party, BNP, United Nations Human Rights Council, UNHRC, LGBT, Bangladesh

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BNP agrees to legalize same-sex marriage

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) seems to have become adamant in returning to power by hook or crook. Although the party has been a great patron of religious extremism and militancy, now it has told Western policymakers that BNP would legalize same-sex marriage in Bangladesh once it returns to power with the “help of Western policymakers”. As the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommended to allow abortion and divorce and to legalize same-sex marriage as part of ensuring human rights, BNP leaders did not hesitate in giving nod to it stating it is ready to implement “any recommendations from the international community, including the United Nations Human Rights Council in establishing rule of law and ensuring human rights of international standard”.

According to a credible source, BNP men has been telling the Western policymakers, including the United Nations Human Rights Council that it is ready to “massively reshuffle” Bangladesh’s laws thus making provisions of abortion and divorce and to legalize same-sex marriage”. BNP leaders also are saying that their acting chairman Tarique Rahman considers same-sex marriage as “part of LGBT rights and human rights”.

It may be mentioned here that the government officials in the Philippines said the nation will not follow the recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to allow abortion and divorce and to legalize same-sex marriage.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said such recommendations of other UN member-states during last week’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva are “not acceptable”.

“It’s a matter of policy whether we accept it or not and I think we know as a country, we are not ready for that”, Remulla said in a press briefing on November 21.

Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez said the UN’s recommendations were rejected outright by the Philippine delegation “because of national identity, our religious beliefs and our cultural traditions and the Philippine sovereignty that need to be protected and upheld at all times”.

Out of the 179 UN member-states, 117 participated in this year’s UPR.

Remulla said more than 100 member states sided with the Philippines or had positive notes “in the human rights performance of the Philippines”.

He said around 15 UN member-states “remained in the negative. These are the usual countries that always pick on the Philippines. These are the rich countries from Europe that are very, very high on individual rights and have no notion of community rights. But I think we did very well”.

Other than the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country where divorce is illegal.

Remulla added: “Culturally, our values may conflict with many of the values that they (Western countries) want to impose upon us. We are not ready for that, culturally we are not ready for that. That is our position right now”.

Although the Philippines authorities have rejected the United Nations Human Rights Council’s recommendations for allowing abortion and divorce and to legalize same-sex marriage as part of ensuring human rights, Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders have told the UNHRC that the party is ready to implement any such recommendations as part of its “commitment to ensure human rights”.

Tajul Islam

Tajul Islam is a Special Correspondent of Blitz.

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