Thursday, December 8, 2011

Obama And Clinton: LGBT Rights Are Human Rights

It always seems to be a case of half empty or half full with Obama.  Case in point is the inconsistency on two classic culture war issues.  As noted in a previous post, the Administration made the astounding decision to overrule an FDA recommendation to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter to women of all ages.  Is there any explanation other than fear of antagonizing religious conservatives?  But then what to make of the brave stance taken to highlight the importance of LGBT rights before the international community? 
"Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same."  Hillary Clinton, in recognition of Human Rights Day
While the Republican candidates for president pander to right-wing homophobes (or demonstrate that they are right-wing homophobes), the Obama administration announced it will weigh how countries treat their LGBT communities in making decisions about foreign aid, and directed all agencies engaged abroad to make sure U.S. diplomacy and aid programs “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians.

As stated in a Presidential Memorandum: “The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights.”

This statement was followed up with a powerful and eloquent speech to the Human Rights Council in Geneva by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called for "a global consensus that recognizes the human rights of LGBT citizens everywhere."  

Here's a link to the full transcript of this remarkable speech.


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