December 7, 2011

Historic Speech By Clinton On International Human Rights Day

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an historic speech yesterday on International Human Rights Day. Speaking before an audience at the UN in Geneva, she stated unequivocally that "gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights." The speech coincided with a remarkable statement that President Obama released yesterday as well (which you can read in full here) which also tied future U.S. foreign aid to how countries around the world deal with their gay citizens.

This comes at a time when human rights violations against gays and lesbians are on the increase internationally, especially in Muslim countries like Iran and some African countries where death is the government-sanctioned punishment for being openly gay. Even in nations like Poland and Russia, there have been recent upswings in violence against gays and lesbians and government actions to ban gay groups and even public discussions of the topic, like in St. Petersburg.

Clinton's speech got scant coverage in the NY TIMES but more comprehensive and nuanced coverage in the Chicago SUN TIMES.  You can also watch Clinton's speech on Towleroad, which did a lot to publicize this major story.  For all the complaints about President Obama on the left, it's safe to say that this sort of statement would never have come from any of the Republicans currently challenging him.  It's clear the President is not only on our side, but on the right side of history.  So liberals better man-up and get behind the President who is taking bold actions domestically and internationally so that gays and lesbians are treated equally.

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