NAMBLA affirms membership in ILGA

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NAMBLA has been a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association for 10 years. We've been continuously active in ILGA longer than any other US organization. NAMBLA delegates to ILGA helped write ILGA's constitution, its official positions on the sexual rights of youth, and its stands against sexual coercion and corporal punishment. We are proud of our contributions in making ILGA a stronger voice for the international gay and lesbian movement and for sexual justice.

In spite of this proud history, ILGA's secretariats, meeting in New York November 5-7, have request NAMBLA te resign and stated that they will seek its expulsion by the general membership this summer unless it complies. This small administrative body of six individuals issued press release on November 7 stating that ILGA "condemns pedophilia" and that NAMBLA's "political aims... are in direct contradiction" to those of ILGA. In particular, the statement cites NAMBLA's opposition to age-of-consent laws as a tool for protecting young people from sexual coercion. These statements by the secretariats' committee are a craven and dishonest attempt to satisfy demands by the US Mission to the UN.

On October 16, the US Mission's Lisa Williams-Manigault sent a letter to ILGA stating that the US will seek ILGA's removal from the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) unless ILGA "dissociate{s} itself from NAMBLA and other affiliate organizations whose objectives," in the opinion of the US government, "are not consonant with UN human right activities." In addition, Williams-Manigault has told the press that to meet US demands, ILGA would have to expel at least two other organizations - the Dutch Vereniging Martijn and a US group called Project Truth - along with any other member organization that has expresses support for NAMBLA's positions.

The ILGA secretariats' statement contradicts the position ILGA has adopted over the course of a decade, and distorts NAMBLA's platform. ILGA's current positions on man/boy love and pedophilia are explicit: In 1985, ILGA adopted a position on "Age of consent/Paedophilia/Children's Rights" that urged member organizations to "lobby their government to abolish the age of consent law" so long as there is "adequate protection for youth from being sexually abused without the age of consent law."

In 1986, ILGA adopted a position that says the group "supports the right of young people to sexual and social self-determination." In 1988, ILGA declared "this conference recognizes that existing same-sex age-of-consent laws often operate to oppress and not protect; that in many countries, existing laws on sexual coercion and rules of evidence also often operate to oppress and not to protect; and that therefor member organizations are urged to consider how best children, adolescents, and people of all ages can be empowered and supported against both sexual coercion and sexual oppression and to work toward that end." In 1990, ILGA "calls on all members to treat all sexual minorities with respect and to engage in constructive dialogue with them." In another position adopted that year, ILGA declared that it "supports the right of every individual, regardless of age, to explore and develop her or his sexuality." ILGA has also taken strong stands against sexual coercion. NAMBLA helped write these positions, and our delegates supported them in the General Assembly. [...]

Every one of the resolutions cited above were adopted by at least an 80 percent majority of ILGA delegate; many were adopted unanimously. [...]

NAMBLA exists in a society where men routinely get life prison sentences for consensual relationships with teenage boys. NAMBLA activists currently face ten years imprisonment under a new Canadian law for publishing writings sympathetic to man/boy love.

source: Letter 'NAMBLA Affirms Membership in ILGA' by The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA); 15 November 1993