USA GAY Lesbian Advocates Applaud Geneva Speech of Secretary of State Clinton

We applaud the First Major Speech to push LGBT rights Abroad.

by Melanie Nathan

 San Francisco, CA, December 6, 2011—Amongst the many accolades this morning, The National Center for Lesbian Rights applauds Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her groundbreaking speech today on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Speaking to human rights leaders from around the world, Secretary Clinton made a powerful case for the full inclusion of LGBT people in human rights protections, and pledged that securing those rights is a priority of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton said: “To LGBT men and women worldwide, wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to networks of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. . . . You have an ally in the United States of America.”

Secretary Clinton’s speech was accompanied by a memorandum from the White House directing all federal agencies engaged abroad to use U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:

“Hearing the United States Secretary of State speak passionately about ending violence and discrimination against LGBT people throughout the world left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. To imagine what the world would be like if the vision Secretary Clinton laid out were to come to pass, is to imagine a world of such deep and enduring humanity that any dream can be realized.

It seems possible that LGBT people could become, as the Secretary put it, “free and equal in dignity and rights” around the world. This is a day to remember, and one that will mark the beginning of a new era in the international recognition of our community.”

“Now as an activist in this arena I can only hope that Secretary Clinton will bring pressure on South  African President Jacob Zuma to take a leadership role in Africa, especially as the Zuma administration has endorsed LGBT rights in the United Nations and is the only country in Africa which boasts a fully inclusive constitution which protects LGBT South Africans from discrimination based on sexual orientation.”  Melanie Nathan

Note from Editor: It would be remiss for me not to remind President Obama that until we have full equality in the USA, our international voice may be a little quieter than we would like. Recently David Bahati the author of Uganda’s Kill the Gays Bill questioned me about the fact the U.S. Federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage as legal and in that vein he asked me :”Surely then the Americans must also think there is something wrong with being gay?”   Now is the time for Obama to ensure the repeal of DOMA. We must show the world that we are not throwing stones at glass houses.

http://www.humanrights.gov/2011/12/06/human-rights-geneva/

 

 


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