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Hillary Clinton to UN: "Gay Rights Are Human Rights, And Human Rights Are Gay Rights," LGBT Rights Will Guide Foreign Policy

 
 
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 Recognizing that America’s own record on LGBT equality is “far from perfect,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on nations around the world to recognize that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,” during a speech in Geneva, Switzerland this afternoon. Clinton’s address builds on a memorandum President Obama issued earlier today directing all agencies to “promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”

Clinton also announced that the administration is launching a $3 million global equality fund to support the work of civil society organizations working on these issues around the world. The fund will help human rights groups “record facts so they can target their advocacy, learn how to use the law as a tool, manage their budgets, train their staffs and forge partnerships with women’s organizations and other Human Rights groups,” Clinton said.

Some highlights from the speech:

- “Like being a woman, like being a racial religious tribal or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are gay rights.”

- “Well, in reality, gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world. They are all ages, all races, all faiths; they are doctors and teachers, farmers and bankers, soldiers and athletes, and whether we know it or whether we acknowledge it, they are our family, our friends and our neighbors.

- “Some believe homosexuality is a Western phenomenon… but gay people belong to every society in the world…. Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality.

- “In all countries, there are costs to not protecting these rights, in both gay and straight lives lost to disease and violence and the silencing of voices and views that would strengthen communities and ideas never pursued by entrepreneurs who happen to be gay. Costs are incurred whenever any group is treated as lesser or the other whether they are women, racial or religious minorities or the LGBT.

- “Our commitment to protect the freedom of religion and defend LGBT people come from a common source… Human rights are universal and cut across all religions and cultures.

- “It should never be a crime to be gay.

- “To LGBT men and women worldwide: Wherever you live and whatever your circumstances… please know that you are not alone.

- “Those who advocate for expanding the circle of human rights were and are on the right side of history, and history honors them… We are called once more to make real the words of the universal declaration. Let us be on the right side of history.”

 Update: Full Video and Transcript

Think Progress / By Igor Volsky and Zack Ford | Sourced from

Posted at December 6, 2011, 10:36am