Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have started to ask questions about why taxpayers in the European Union (EU) are being forced to finance a giant homosexual lobbying group with past links to organizations promoting pedophilia. Gay and lesbian activists responded to the concerns by unleashing a wave of attacks.
Researchers using publicly available data found that the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association-Europe (ILGA) received more than two-thirds of its funding directly from taxpayers through the European Commission. When tax money provided by the Dutch government was added in, over 70 percent of the group’s funds last year came from taxpayers. The rest came from billionaire leftist George Soros and two other major donors.
“It appears to be a puppet organization in the hand of a very small group of donors, of which the Commission is the most important one,” noted European human rights lawyer J.C. von Krempach, who shined the spotlight on the issue late last year in a series of articles. “Is this really a ‘non-governmental’ organization, or part of ‘civil society?’ Or is it an inofficial EU Agency?”
Despite the close ties to governments, the lobbying group has a highly controversial past, according to critics. In the 1990s, for example, after international pressure and a global scandal erupted, the ILGA was forced to purge several groups from its membership ranks because their primary mission was promoting pedophilia. Among the more controversial members was the infamous North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), a group which seeks to legalize and normalize pedophilia.
ILGA also fought a long battle to become an officially recognized “non-governmental organization” with the United Nations. Of course, it was repeatedly rejected for its myriad ties to supporters of pedophilia as member governments balked. Eventually pressure from European governments forced the UN to grant accreditation.
But questions about the lobbying group’s eligibility for official NGO status are now making headlines again, and some analysts expect the organization’s status to come up for review in the not-too-distant future. Indeed, ILGA fails to meet the UN’s own established criteria, one part of which states that a “major portion” of an NGO’s funding cannot come from governments.
When the EU taxpayer funding scandal first made headlines in December, concerned MEPs and organizations such as the U.S.-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam) sounded the alarm. In essence, according to critics of the arrangement, the EU is just using taxpayer money to lobby itself while litigating in European courts and bullying member governments.
“We might call it political ventriloquism,” noted von Krempach, saying ILGA promotes an “extremist agenda” that includes silencing Christians and Muslims while demanding worldwide recognition of “same-sex marriage” and adoption rights for homosexuals. “Through this ‘advocacy group,’ the Commission speaks to itself.”
In the European Parliament — not exactly a legislature in the traditional sense of the word, but a powerful EU body nonetheless — surprised parliamentarians asked some questions about the funding. From Poland to the UK, MEPs were concerned that taxpayers were being coerced into financing a questionable lobbying group.
“In reality, the EU has no competences as regards the recognition of marriages or family law,” notedPolish MEP Konrad Szymanski with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) in a statement to the Commission. “On what legal basis is the Commission giving out operational grants to associations whose main activities are outside the scope of the EU’s competences?”
In his written request for answers, submitted late last year, Szymanski also asked why the EU was funding groups working to change the laws of member states — “this being especially questionable in the case of countries such as Poland, which is under this kind of lobbying pressure regarding its family law and which has declared its legislative independence in that sphere.”
Szymanski also sought to find out whether the Commission recognized that it was actually breaching EU principles enshrined in European treaties by funding the group. The Commission responded earlier this month by claiming that it does indeed possess the authority to fund homosexual lobbying because it has the power “to take measures combating discrimination on ground of sexual orientation.”
More recently, MEP Godfrey Bloom of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) also asked the European Commission to explain itself. He pointed to information on ILGA-Europe’s own website noting that more than 70 percent of the lobbying group’s budget was extracted from taxpayers.
“Given the proportion of its own contribution to financing ILGA-Europe, does the Commission believe that ILGA-Europe can be described as a ‘non-governmental organization’ or as part of ‘civil society’?” Bloom asked European Commissioners, wondering whether the EU had similar NGO-accreditation rules that, like at the UN, would bar government-funded front groups. “Are there many other lobby groups that receive a similar proportion of their budget from the Commission? Or is ILGA a unique case?”
Bloom raised concerns about the potential influence of wealthy donors such as billionaire George Soros over the groups they are subsidizing, too. “Is there a risk that persons such as George Soros could ‘buy’ themselves one or more NGOs that are economically dependent on their donations?” he asked. “How does the Commission view the impact of this particular type of ‘philanthropy’ on democracy?”
Almost as soon as the concerns were raised, the homosexual lobby and its allies were on the war path. MEPs asking questions were slandered as “intolerant,” “homophobic,” and “bullies,” while organizations such as C-Fam were derided as “ultra-conservative,” “incendiary,” and more. Parliamentarians who support using taxpayer money to fund the lobbying group also launched an all-out offensive.
“Mr Bloom’s attempt to undermine European funding is unworthy of exposure. He should focus on the substantial question, which is equality and non-discrimination,” said MEP Michael Cashman, the co-president of the European Parliament’s “Intergroup on LGBT Rights.” MEP Ulrike Lunacek, also co-president of the Intergroup, blasted Bloom as “a true role model for bullies around Europe.”
Meanwhile, the so-called “European Court of Human Rights” recently ruled that member governments are allowed to bully and persecute anyone who expresses intolerance of pro-homosexual government propaganda. Free speech, apparently, is not to be considered a “human right” if the state disapproves.
The controversial case involved four young men in Sweden who were convicted of “agitation” against a “group” for distributing leaflets at a secondary school — a crime which can carry a penalty of up to two years in Swedish prison. The convicts said they were merely trying to spark a debate about the lack of objectivity on the issue in government schools, but Swedish courts and the European court rejected that defense.
The pamphlets about “homosexual propaganda” noted that in just a few decades, homosexuality “and other sexual deviances” had gone from being rejected by society to being embraced. “Your anti-Swedish teachers know very well that homosexuality has a morally destructive effect on the substance of society and will willingly try to put it forward as something normal and good,” stated the leaflets in question, saying that homosexual lobbying groups were trying to downplay their support for pedophilia and that students should challenge the official “propaganda” by pointing out the link between homosexuality and AIDS.
The European court upheld the criminal convictions. In its ruling, it said the Swedish government undertook “legitimate and proportional interference” against free speech to protect the “reputation and rights of others,” LifeSiteNews reported.
Co-Chair Martin Christensen of the EU-funded ILGA-Europe promptly celebrated the verdict, applauding the fact that individuals and organizations would no longer be allowed to criticize homosexuality by invoking the right to free speech. He also warned that the ruling sent a “serious signal” to Europeans who thought they could make “offensive statements” about homosexuality without fear of being punished.
“This is a truly important and landmark judgment,” Christensen said in a press release, claiming that homosexuals have been subjected to “offensive” and “defamatory rhetoric” for decades. “For far too long those making such statement[s] were claiming their right to freedom of expression and opinion.”
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