What's Going on In
Two hundred years ago Thomas
Jefferson formulated the Declaration of Independence, which forcefully expresses the principle of
inalienable human rights. Americans can be justifiably proud of
both their philosophy and actions
in encouraging democracy around
We were therefore puzzled when
we read the news that in certain
states fundamental human rights
were being withheld or revoked.
Such a development seems to us
to be contrary to the philosophy of
the Founding Fathers and contrary
to Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states
that everyone is entitled to fundamental rights and liberties with no
distinctions between groups or
classes of people.
But apparently, even in a modern
democracy like the United States,
universal rights do not seem to include homosexuals.
In spite of the Declaration of
Helsinki, in defense of which President Carter has declared himself
so strongly abroad, in certain states
homosexuals are excluded from
government jobs. Many homosexuals have been denied housing,
employment and access to public
Max van der Stoel, the Dutch
Minister of Foreign Affairs, justifiably stated that human rights are
uprooted if they are not acknowledged without distinctions.
We are alarmed by the campaign
of Anita Bryant, who preaches discrimination in the name of God.
We are also alarmed by the fact
that many politicians in America,
who do not personally believe in dis
crimination against homosexuals,
lack the courage to stand up to this
bigotry. Some politicians have even
jumped on the Bryant bandwagon
of prejudice and injustice simply to
further their own ambitions.
President Carter's human rights
policy can gain credibility only if
the rights of homosexuals in the
United States of America are bound
inseparably to human rights for
all people. How can one advocate
human rights to one's neighbor if
one's own backyard is not in order?
To us, it appears that either
Jefferson's idea of humanity and
human dignity is upheld by the
good people of the United States, or
it is trampled on by the zealots.
We ask our traditional friends
and allies in America to fight this
injustice. You have done it before;
you can do it again.
Simone de Beauvoir,
Jan Emiel Daele,
Secretary, Flemish Centre of
P.E.N. (Poets, Essayists,
Member of Parliament,
Chairman, Socialist Group of
the European Parliament.
Former Minister of the Interior,
Sir John Gielgud,
First Secretary P. S.O.E.
(Worker's Socialist Party),
The Netherlands, and London
Mrs. Ien van den Heuvel,
Chairman of the Labor Party,
Chairman of the Peoples' Party
for Freedom and Democracy,
David L. Lilienthal,
Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish
Community, The Netherlands.
Former President of the
Secretary of the International
Council of Social Democratic
Members of the Board of The
Netherlands Centre of P. E.N.
(Poets, Essayists, Novelists)
Rabbi, The Netherlands.
Ed van Thijn,
Parliamentary Leader ol the
Labor Party, the Netherlands.
Gijs de Vries,
B. van der Wal,
Executive Director, Anne Frank
Foundation, The Netherlands.
Secretary General, Federation
of the Liberal and Democratic
Parties of the European
The initiative for this advertisement was taken by
Stichting Vrije Relatierechten (Foundation for Free Human Partnership),
Amstel 220, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
-Taken from Time
January 9, 1978