United Nations new Secretary General against abortion, marriage equality and gay rights

United Nations new Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s appointment is not everyone’s choice.

The ninth man to lead the UN in its 71-year history has drawn opposition from gay rights and women’s groups.

Guterres will replace Ban Ki-moon when he retires at the end of December.

The devout Catholic is against abortion, marriage equality and gay rights.

In 1995 he described homosexuality as “a mental disorder”.

International gay rights organisations opposed Guterres’s candidacy for the key position.

Gay activists in the US are calling on President Barack Obama to veto Guterres’s appointment to the UN Security Council.

Australian women’s groups are also speaking out about the appointment.

“It is outrageous that after 70 years, and vocal lobbying from women around the world saying that the next appointment must be a woman, that the UN is saying there is not a single woman on the planet capable of doing the job,” Australia-based International Women’s Development Agency chief Jo Hayter said.

“If we have a person sitting in this position who is not comfortable with women’s choice, we have a leader from the past, not a visionary for the future.”

International aid and development agencies are concerned the global push for women’s rights and marriage equality could lose momentum under Guterres’s leadership.

Portugal legalised abortion in 2007 after a national referendum.

State support for birth control was curtailed by the parliament in January this year.

Four women, including former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, were in the running for the top UN job that has never been given to a woman.

The former Portuguese prime minister and president held the post of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

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