One Human Family: International Human Rights Day

Today is International Human Rights Day and a celebration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10. 1948.

The Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that:
“The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The vision of this extraodinary declaration and those who envisoned the United Nations after two world wars that took millions of lives and left many countries devastated is of one human family.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a longtime, passionate advocate of universal human rights and the human dignity of all persons. From his deep faith Tutu calls us to remember that: “God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.”

LGBT people and our families are part of God’s good creation and we are part of God’s dream for us to be part of this one human family. LGBT people have the right to create families. The legal recognition of same-sex couples and families is part of living into the vision of the Universarl Declaration of Human Rights and the one human family as imagined by Desmond Tutu.

We are grateful that Australia became the newest country to adopt same-sex marriage on December 7, 2017. “My heart is beating out of my chest. This debate has been in my life ever since I knew I was gay,” said Hamish Taylor, age 22, as he left the gallery after Parliament’s vote.

Human rights and equality are not abstract ideas when it comes to the lives and experiences of people. For Hamish Taylor of Melbourne, Australia the promise of human rights and equality became real with the affirmative vote of his Parliament for marriage equality. Moreover, we are grateful that Hamish and all of the LGBT people of Australia are now equal citizens within our human family.

Photo: Australia votes to legalize same-sex marriage