U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a video message for Pride Month. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/06/192136.htm.
Posts Tagged 'Hilary Clinton'
Tags: Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Pride, Pride Month, sexual orientation, State Department, US State Department, video
Tags: Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Japan, Lesbian, LGBT, Mark Bromley, sexual orientation, State Department, The Japan Times, Transgender, US State Department
The recent endorsement of gay marriage by U.S. President Barack Obama was a milestone for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and could gain more support among younger voters who already overwhelmingly back same-sex marriages, according to a prominent American gay rights activist.
“I am optimistic that the polling is going to show eventually that it’s going to have a minimum impact on actual votes, and eventually gain some ground,” Bromley said during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.Mark Bromley, chairman of the Council for Global Equality, a 21-group coalition seeking a clearer and stronger U.S. position on global LGBT issues, said Monday in Tokyo that while same-sex marriage would be an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, it would not take center stage in a way that it could hurt the re-election chances of Obama, who in May became the first sitting U.S. leader to support gay marriage.
Bromley’s Tokyo visit was part of a push by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to celebrate LGBT Pride Month in June at U.S. embassies worldwide. Continue reading ‘Activist discusses impact of Obama’s gay marriage support’
Tags: Africa, Bisexual, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Human Rights Report 2011, Lesbian, LGBT, Near East and North Africa, sexual orientation, South and Central Asia, State Department, US State Department, Western Hemisphere and the Caribbean
Washington, DC – May 25, 2012 – The Department of State’s 2011 Human Rights Report, released yesterday, catalogues an ongoing range of abuses and discriminatory treatment directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide – starkly underscoring what Secretary Hillary Clinton has called “…one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time.”
Speaking in Geneva last December, Secretary Clinton noted that, too often, LGBT people remain an “invisible minority,” members of which “…are arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed…” while “…authorities empowered to protect them look the other way or, too often, even join in the abuse.”
The newly released report bears witness to such abuse. Most disturbingly, it documents that police, other government security forces, and prison personnel have been implicated directly in the harassment or abuse of LGBT citizens in a range of countries, including (but not limited to) Afghanistan, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, and Panama. Harassment and abuse often were directed in particular at transgender individuals. In Turkey, a range of LGBT organizations complained of harassment by police and government authorities. In Cote d’Ivoire, the report notes that “gay men were reportedly subjected to beatings, imprisonment, verbal abuse, humiliation, and extortion by police, gendarmes, and members of the armed forces.”
The report also describes broader patterns of discrimination against LGBT individuals in many areas of the world. In Sierra Leone and India, LGBT people have been denied basic social services, from health services to housing. In Botswana and many other countries, governments failed to register LGBT advocacy groups or recognize their status as legitimate civil society organizations. In Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and elsewhere, LGBT employees have been driven from their jobs, or faced discrimination in hiring, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In Nigeria, local authorities again failed to take any legal action against persons who stoned and beat members of the House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church, an LGBT-affirming church in Lagos in 2008. During the past year, church parishioners and clergy continued to receive threatening e-mail messages, phone calls and letters.
The report notes that in South Africa, the country’s largest LGBT organization received in Cape Town alone an average of 10 new cases every week of lesbians being targeted for “corrective rape.” This disturbing trend also was noted in other countries, where men raped lesbians “to punish them for being lesbian and to attempt to change their sexual orientation.”
Finally, various reports include instances in which the internet has been a source of discrimination against LGBT people. These include Oman, where authorities took measures to block LGBT related content from the internet, and Iran, which monitored internet websites for information on LGBT individuals.
The Council is grateful to our Foreign Service personnel who understand that, as Secretary Clinton has said, LGBT rights are, in fact, human rights. We urge that the State Department and Congress work together to carry out a serious, sustained and purposeful dialogue with governing officials in all countries, as identified in the Department’s report, that have failed to recognize this essential reality, with a goal of ensuring that LGBT people are treated with the dignity, fairness, and equality to which all people should be entitled. We further urge ongoing scrutiny of the degree to which foreign governments respect and honor the rights of their LGBT citizens, in keeping with the democratic and human rights principles on which U.S. foreign policy should be based.
Tags: Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Human Rights Report 2010, Human Rights Report 2011, Lesbian, LGBT, sexual orientation, State Department, Transgender, US State Department
On May 24, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner will release the 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at 10:30 a.m. in the Department of State Press Briefing Room. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, commonly known as the Human Rights Reports, cover the status of human rights in countries around the world.
The Council for Global Equality will continue its annual compendium of report references to human rights abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The compendium will be posted here and on our website.
Tags: Ambassador Susan Rice, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Obama, sexual orientation, Transgender, United Nations, US State Department, White House
Washington, DC – May 17, 2012 – The Council released a new NGO guide, Accessing U.S. Embassies: A Guide for LGBT Human Rights Defenders, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
The guide highlights the various diplomatic tools that U.S. embassies use to advance a range of human rights and development objectives, from diplomatic “démarches,” to support for LGBT refugees to the drafting of the annual human rights report that is required of every U.S. embassy. It also looks at various opportunities that exist for U.S. embassies to support, both technically and financially, LGBT advocates in host countries.
The guide recognizes that U.S. embassies around the world have traditionally reached out to civil society organizations and local human rights defenders to support a broad human rights agenda. Until recently, however, U.S. embassies rarely included LGBT civil society organizations or defenders in their outreach. That has now changed, and U.S. embassies are reaching out to local LGBT groups to learn more about the human rights abuses that LGBT communities experience, and to explore opportunities to partner with civil society to address those abuses.
The guide points out that U.S. embassy support for the human rights and human dignity of LGBT communities reflects, in part, America’s attempt to promote fundamental freedoms of speech, assembly and expression. As such, the guide helps human rights defenders in other countries ground their requests in language that relates back to freedoms rooted in America’s Constitution, and that enjoy strong bipartisan support even amid other debates in Washington.
While focusing on the needs of one particularly invisible and at-risk group of human rights defenders, the Council also uses the guide to paint a broad justification for the inclusion of LGBT groups in U.S. human rights policy. When U.S. embassies use the diplomatic, economic and political tools that are available to them to promote the rights and social inclusion of marginalized communities, including LGBT individuals, they stand firmly for human rights, but they also help foster tolerant, democratic and diverse societies that make better diplomatic allies and stronger economic partners over the longer term.
Tags: Africa, Anti-Homosexuality BIll, Bisexual, foreign affairs, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Michael Guest, sexual orientation, State Department, Transgender, Uganda
Op-Ed as it appears in the Bay Area Reporter, written by The Council for Global Equality, Senior Advisor, Michael Guest
When it comes to the rights of LGBT people abroad, you don’t have to look back very far to see the future.
David Bahati is at it again, reintroducing in Uganda’s parliament legislation that, in extreme cases, would put gay people to death for having same-sex relationships. Bahati’s unamended hate bill already has sailed through a first reading, and although it now has been sent back to committee for further review, volatility in Uganda’s politics underscore that it would be a mistake to assume the bill will remain bottled up.
Uganda is hardly the only place where anti-gay intolerance and discrimination is on the march. Only last week, Cameroon’s police forces arrested another 10 women, merely on the suspicion that they are lesbians. A newly introduced bill in Liberia would make homosexuality a felony, with prison sentences of up to 10 years. Nigeria’s Senate passed a bill late last year to penalize more severely not only gay relationships, but human rights defenders who work on behalf of gay rights; its lower house appears poised to bring this legislation into law. And in St. Petersburg, Russia, a bill that would sharply circumscribe the freedom of expression for LGBT people has sailed through its third hearing. Continue reading ‘LGBTs have a voice in foreign affairs’
Tags: aid, Bisexual, Foreign, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, sexual orientation, State Department, Transgender, US State Department, White House
U.S. assistance programs must, like overall U.S. foreign policy, be grounded in U.S. principles. We believe it a moral imperative that our assistance programs embrace the rights and needs of marginalized communities, including LGBT people, as a reflection of our country’s historical support both for equality of treatment and opportunity, and for governments that are responsive to the needs of their people.
But including LGBT people in USG assistance programs is also a matter of policy coherence, and of policy effectiveness. Good governance programs can’t logically avoid the problems that LGBT and other marginalized and targeted minorities often face in government access and fair treatment. Economic opportunity programs, such as micro-credit grants and other tools to encourage entrepreneurial development, need to empower whole communities to have maximum impact. Health programs, and programs aimed at poverty reduction, cannot fully succeed if they skirt a portion of the population. Educational opportunities, including job skills and business training, are critical for this population, since stigma and discrimination cause LGBT youth to disproportionately drop out of school. Civil societies are only as strong as their most marginalized component. And programs aimed at strengthening justice and the rule of law cannot live up to their own promise if they fail to include the abuses that LGBT people often face abroad. Continue reading ‘Working Toward Policy Coherence’
Tags: Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Obama, sexual orientation, State Department, Transgender, US State Department, White House
A little green dot marks December 6 on our calendar for last year. That’s the day the President issued his Memorandum instructing all USG foreign affairs agencies to use our diplomatic and foreign assistance tools to promote the fair and equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide. It’s also the day that Secretary Clinton gave a landmark address at the historic League of Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, making the case for why LGBT rights are human rights; why these rights are universal; and why we are obligated, as an international community, to ensure that LGBT rights are protected in every country around the globe.
The USG agencies identified in the President’s memorandum are required to report back to him no later than June 6 on the steps being undertaken to fulfill his directive. A State Department working group is helping guide the process. And at USAID, a new, senior-level “SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) Coordinator” position soon will be filled. Continue reading ‘Opening up U.S. assistance programs to LGBT populations’
Tags: Bisexual, Gay, Gender Identity, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, LGBT, Maria Carmen Aponte, Sen. Jim DeMint, sexual orientation, State Department, Transgender, US State Department
Repost from the Post and Courrier
Written by Michael Guest, Senior Advisor to The Council for Global Equality
The contrast could not be starker.
In a Human Rights Day speech in Geneva last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton placed the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide within the broader international framework of universal human rights.
Later that month in Washington, the nomination of Maria Carmen Aponte as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador was voted down — partly over objections that she had followed administration policy in defending the fundamental freedoms of LGBT people in that country.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., led the Republican onslaught against Aponte, whose initial nomination he opposed a year ago on entirely different grounds.
That shift of reasoning, of course, raises questions as to his true motivation.
But he and others who blocked Aponte’s nomination would do well to read Clinton’s speech.
“Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same,” she said. “… Being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Continue reading ‘DeMint wrong on gay rights’
Tags: Bisexual, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay, Gender Identity, Hate Crimes, Hilary Clinton, Honduras, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT, Mark Bromley, sexual orientation, White House
Repost from the Miami Herald
by Tim Johnson
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — From U.N. chambers to the halls of the State Department, global pressure on countries to protect the rights of gay and transgender people is rising.
For Josue Hernandez, the new emphasis can’t come fast enough.
The 33-year-old gay activist bears the scar of the bullet that grazed his skull in an attack a few years ago. He’s moved the office of his advocacy group four times. Still, he feels hunted in what is arguably the most homophobic nation in the Americas.
“We are in a deplorable state,” Hernandez said of gays in Honduras. “When we walk the streets, people shout insults at us and throw rocks. Parents move their children away.”
Three months ago, a U.N. report declared that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — or LGBT — violates core international human rights law. It listed nations where violations are most severe.
Joining a push that originated in Europe, the Obama administration said in December that respect for LGBT rights is now a factor in its foreign policy decisions.