Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on UN member states to recognize LGBT rights and announced a fund to support organizations working to protect homosexuals from violence and marginalization.
Clinton said in the course of her speech that, “Being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
Clinton addressed an audience of over 1,000 people in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats from Arab and Africa, where discrimination is the worst, were present.
President Barack Obama issued a memorandum earlier this morning to the heads of executive departments and agencies abroad that sets new federal policy and strategy on global LGBT rights. These agencies incldue the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export Import Bank, the United States Trade Representative, and “such other agencies as the President may designate.”
These agencies have been ordered to: combat criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad; protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers; provide foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination; provide swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad; engage international organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination; and report on progress annually toward advancing these initiatives.
“Our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal,” Obama said in the memo.
It is illegal to be a homosexual in over 80 countries, and homosexual acts are punished by execution in countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan.