Archive for the 'Election 2012' Category

Global Reactions to the U.S. National Election

Global Activists Meeting in Washington DC - The Council for Global Equality

Global Activists Meeting in Washington DC. Photo: Munya K.

From Uganda:

I stayed all night watching the results come in and at 4am on the election night, I joined hundreds of Ugandan activists, Diplomats, MPs and civil society at the US embassy in Kampala. Minute by minute we watched and when Obama got the required 270 electoral college votes, I simply sat down and enjoyed the celebration . My fellow activist Bishop Christopher Senyonjo (I have never seen him so over-joyed) danced as did many of the guests. It was merry. I could not stand to imagine what Mr. Romney would have done about passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, given that there are strong links between The Family, the US funder of the author of the bill Mr. Bahati, and Republicans.

The LGBTI community in Kampala held a music show at the national theatre later in the evening, but police stopped it after two hours. We are used to that. The big picture is that we have an advocate in the White House. Humanity prevailed……and we shall prevail. It may not come during my lifetime, because I can easily expire in this struggle, but one day, we shall be free.

Kikonyogo Kivumbi
Executive Director, Uhspa-Uganda

From Russia:

News of Obama’s victory couldn’t be more timely. Russian LGBT people are facing extreme pressures, with the “propaganda” laws aiming to take away their basic rights and making a stab at their dignity itself. The entire civil society is experiencing an all-out attack by the government, with civil freedoms rapidly diminishing. Despite these grave challenges, the LGBT movement is more vibrant and stronger than ever, with gay people ready to go out on the streets to protest, go to court to defend their rights. If this momentum is kept, anything is achievable, and with Obama’s victory we can hope that the diplomatic missions in Russia will continue taking on a leading role in supporting gay rights.

Coming Out St. Petersburg

From St. Lucia:

Kenita Placide

From Venezuela:

Obama’s victory is also a victory for LGBTI human rights defenders all around the world. The continuous support to our activities will continue, and we will therefore able to further develop our actions in view of getting equal rights in our countries. On the other hand, the example of Obama’s actions with regard to LGBTI rights is an example to be used to force changes where radical and fundamentalists forces still in place, such as it is the case in Venezuela, where no significant improvements had been achieved, and in many cases we may detect a withdraw with regard to previous situations.

Tamara Adrián
DIVERLEX Diversidad e Igualdad a través de la ley

From Nepal:

The US Embassy in Kathmandu had invited us to observe the US presidential election yesterday; there were many Nepali from all walks of lives observing the election. The US embassy also put a mock pooling booth and allowed us to vote with a fake ballot. Many of us voted for Obama.

With Obama’s reelection LGBTI rights will make significant improvements not just in the US but all over the world. Obama is very popular in Nepal and people know him also for being LGBTI friendly. This makes us feel easier as activists to work on LGBTI rights in Nepal and around the world.

Congratulations to you all. Congratulations to all of us.

Sunil Pant
Director, Blue Diamond Society

From Mexico:

We are celebrating the re-election of Obama for another four-year period. It means that we still have an ally to go forward in the international struggle for LGBTI human rights and lot of hope for human rights advances for LGBTI people within the USA.

We know that since his first election we had a lot of expectations, and that it has not been easy for him. But we hope that in these next four years he will be able to build a broad alliance with other governments and advance the protection of LGBTI people. It is a profound democratic project promoting welfare and protecting human rights in which immigrants and LGBTI are clearly included.

We congratulate all American citizens that supported Obama´s agenda of respect for social, cultural and sexual diversity as a key contribution towards a better world!

Gloria Careaga
ILGA Co-Secretary General

From Moldova:

For us, the victory of Barack Obama is a victory of equal rights for all people, not only in the United States but all over the world including the small countries like Moldova. USA is a very influential country and this effect is not aggressive but pro-development. The government of Barack Obama has raised debate of LGBT issues to a new level in the world and we are confident that in the next four years it will be able to do more. U.S. President’s clear position on the rights of LGBT people became clear position of US Embassies in our countries. With their help and support, we will be able to further develop of democracy principles and the importance of each person, regardless of his/her sexual orientation and gender identity.

Anastasia Donilova
Director of Gender DOC-M

From Spain:

In Spain the LGBT movement has received with happiness news about President Obama´s re-election. November 6 was a great day for LGBT people in Spain because our Constitutional Court confirmed that the law that permitted marriage for same sex couples since 2005 is completely constitutional. The right-wing party Partido Popular (now in the Government) that were against the law, yesterday accepted the High Court decision and declared that they will maintain the law without any change. And after that, we learned early morning that President Obama, who has supported LGBT equality, will have four years more. The US election is important for us because Fundación Triángulo is concerned not just about Spanish domestic issues but also for the global fight for equality everywhere.  And we know that, with Obama, the USA will be a great ally against discrimination for LGBT people all over the world. Congratulations to all North-American people.

Miguel Ángel Sánchez Rodríguez.
Fundación Triángulo, for Social Equality of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans.
SPAIN

From Canada:

We congratulate our American friends on an impressive election night yesterday. The election results saw many important achievements for LGBT rights in the United States. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) becomes the first openly gay member of the US Senate, while Maine and Maryland have approved same-sex marriage.  Though votes continue to be counted in Washington State, marriage equality remains in the lead. Overall, a great night for LGBT rights!

Helen Kennedy
Executive Director, Egale Canada

The Votes are In

Barack Obama Election 2012The votes are in:  Barack Obama has been reelected to serve our country for another four years.  Considered alongside the historic victories  for marriage equality and the election of LGBT candidates and allies to Congress, this is an election that advances equality in profound ways – both at home and abroad.  We congratulate the President on this historic victory and renew our commitment to partner with his Administration to support vigorous American leadership in the fight for LGBT human and civil rights.

In previous blogs (see related posts links below), we’ve laid out an international equality agenda that we hope the new Administration will pursue over the next four years.  That agenda includes:

  • A clear stand in our bilateral and multilateral diplomacy against the mistreatment and discrimination that impact too many foreign LGBT populations;
  • Employment protections for LGBT citizens, and a partnership with corporate America to encourage those protections in the overseas American workplace;
  • Greater efforts to ensure that faith, while respected and preserved, does not intrude into government responsibilities to ensure fair and equal treatment in our laws at home and in our assistance programs abroad;
  • Elimination of inequities in our country’s current immigration laws, which serve LGBT citizens so poorly; and
  • Using the foreign policy and developmental assistance tools of all relevant USG departments and agencies to advance respect for LGBT rights as a critical component of the values our country represents.

We reiterate that agenda today, and call for its bold pursuit.  The next four years will be a critical period for LGBT Americans to achieve many of the fairness goals that have eluded us for decades.  But in equal measure, American leadership will be crucial in ensuring that LGBT rights are fully integrated into U.S. and international human rights policy.  If we as a country are true to our founding values and ideals, we must stand clearly and forcefully for the fundamental freedoms and rights that have eluded LGBT people internationally, and to support policies in their defense.

Over four years, President Obama has stood firmly for these freedoms and rights.  He and Secretary of State Clinton have earned our respect and gratitude.  But there is more to accomplish if we are to anchor respect for LGBT people in policies and procedures, and to ensure that the leadership shown to date is an enduring feature of American diplomacy.

With the President’s continued leadership, our country can, in four years’ time, become a shining example of a nation that lives up to its ideals.  We pledge to be an avid partner in pursuing that goal as the new Administration and Congress take their places next year.

Related Posts:  

Will the Candidates Address Issues Impacting LGBT Communities at Home and Abroad in the Upcoming Presidential Debate?

Will LGBT Issues Feature in the Upcoming Presidential Debate?

Reactions coming in from LGBT advocates around the world

Look for future blogs on the global impact of the election results in the United States and our policy objectives for the next four years.

Will the Candidates Address Issues Impacting LGBT Communities at Home and Abroad in the Upcoming Presidential Debate?

will the candidates address issues impacting LGBT communities at home and abroad?

With two presidential debates remaining before the November 6 presidential election, will the candidates address issues impacting LGBT communities at home and abroad?

  • We’d like to hear the candidates address:
  • Whether they agree with Secretary Clinton’s statement that “…gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
  • To what degree human rights – including the epidemic of mistreatment and discrimination directed at foreign LGBT populations – should impact bilateral relationships; and
  • Whether, or how, their personal ethics embraces the cause of LGBT equality.

We believe voters should know:

  • How the candidates would respond to countries, like Uganda, that seek to penalize or even kill people who are gay;
  • Whether the candidates believe USG foreign assistance should be for developmental purposes only, or should be used to advance other national priorities, including democratic development and human rights enhancement; and
  • How they would direct USG departments and agencies with respect to using our foreign policy and developmental assistance tools to advance respect for LGBT rights.

Finally, we believe the candidates owe us, and all Americans:

  • A coherent sense of the place of LGBT rights within American foreign policy goals;
  • An understanding of whether they believe U.S.-funded AIDS prevention and treatment tools should target, among other populations, men who have sex with men; and
  • A clear statement as to whether LGBT fairness and equality, at home and abroad, will be a priority for them as President.

The world still respects America’s foreign policy voice. Over the coming four years, one of these two men can do much to impact how LGBT people are treated, at home and abroad. We need and deserve to know whether they are committed to take up that cause.

Will LGBT Issues Feature in the Upcoming Presidential Debate?

Will LGBT Issues Feature in the Upcoming Presidential Debate?Presidential debates rarely shed new light on what a presidential candidate really believes. Set-piece statements and rehearsed position points are the order of the night – and the format of the debates rarely allows for reflection or back-and-forth discussion.

The October 3 debate – first in this season’s set of debates – is slated to focus on domestic policies. The Council for Global Equality believes that if the United States wishes to claim leadership in the struggle for human rights abroad, our country must pay more attention to LGBT inequalities here at home.  We hope, and urge, that LGBT issues will be included in the mix – and that they not be limited to backward-looking topics such as whether repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was right for our country.  (It was, let’s move on.)

We’d like to hear the candidates address, at a deeper level, why a country that professes a belief in equal rights, justice and the pursuit of happiness can fail to assure equality for all citizens, including those of us who happen to be LGBT. Some questions worth considering:

  • Why should an employer be allowed to fire an employee who is gay or lesbian – or not to hire him/her – for that reason? How is that lack of protection consistent with any understanding of “fair” and “equal”?
  • How do candidates understand the separation of church and state – not simply with respect to the rights of religious denominations, but with respect to the government’s rights and responsibilities to ensure equal rights for citizens from different religious faiths or, indeed, those who belong to no faith tradition?
  • In that regard, why should government contracts (representing taxpayer funds) be given to organizations – whether religious or secular – that refuse to respect civil principles of fairness and equality for all employees, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity?
  • Why isn’t U.S. citizenship conferred on in vitro fertilized children that are conceived by gay and lesbian U.S. citizen couples abroad?
  • And why shouldn’t immigration policy be amended to accommodate the families and partners of gay and lesbian citizens – in the same manner that families and partners of straight citizens are allowed to reunite with their loved ones?

There are many more LGBT policy questions to address, of course. But we hope the organizers of the October 3 domestic policy debate will help us arrive at a better understanding of to what degree the two candidates have internalized American values of fairness and equality and how, in consequence, they would propose to move our country beyond basic LGBT fairness issues that should have been resolved in the last century.


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