U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech today in Geneva in honor of the upcoming International Human Rights Day. Secretary Clinton's speech focused on promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights worldwide. The statement marks the first time a U.S. official has pushed for gay rights abroad.
Secretary Clinton said, "Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same. Now, of course, 60 years ago, the governments that drafted and passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not thinking about how it applied to the LGBT community. They also weren't thinking about how it applied to indigenous people or children or people with disabilities or other marginalized groups. Yet in the past 60 years, we have come to recognize that members of these groups are entitled to the full measure of dignity and rights, because, like all people, they share a common humanity."
Secretary Clinton also said that ensuring protection of gay rights is a crucial component of U.S. foreign policy. Her statement comes the same day as a Presidential Memorandum on respecting gay rights, at home and abroad. She also announced the creation of a Global Equality Fund to support civil society organizations that promote this issue worldwide.
You can visit the State Department's website to read the full text of Secretary Clinton's remarks. International Human Rights Day will be observed this Saturday, December 10, 2011.