REVERSING COURSE ON DISCRIMINATION…. In December, as Ben Armbruster explained, “France and the Netherlands co-sponsored an unprecedented U.N. declaration calling for a worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.” The United States, with our long tradition of championing human rights, was supposed to join our allies in supporting the measure.

The Bush administration had other ideas, and sided with China, the Vatican, and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in opposition.

As Mark Goldberg noted yesterday, the Obama administration is putting things right.

This is now: At the so-called “Durban Review Conference” on racism and xenophobia underway in Geneva, Europe again put forward language condemning “all forms of discrimination and all other human rights violations based on sexual orientation.” According to UN Watch, “The Czech Republic on behalf of the E.U., with the support of New Zealand, the United States, Colombia, Chili on behalf of the South American states, the Netherlands, Argentina and a few others, took the floor in support.”

The efforts to include language on discrimination based on sexual orientation ended up failing for lack of support from non-western countries. Still, it’s relieving to see that the United States is now back on the side of the enlightened on this issue of basic human rights.

Quite right. Ideally, of course, the measure would have passed. But it’s nevertheless encouraging to have the United States doing the right thing again on the international stage.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.