Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on Tuesday by issuing a statement in which she highlights the progress that has been made toward securing equality for LGBTs, and the huge amount of work still needed around the globe to ensure basic human rights for people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
In every part of the world, men and women are persecuted and attacked because of who they are or whom they love. Homophobia, transphobia and the brutal hostility associated with them are often rooted in a lack of understanding of what it actually means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). So to combat this terrible scourge and break the cycle of fear and violence, we must work together to improve education and support those who stand up against laws that criminalize love and promote hate. As we mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia this May 17, let us resolve to redouble our efforts.
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am proud to reaffirm our support for LGBT communities at home and abroad, and to call for an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs. Whether by supporting LGBT advocates marching in Belgrade, leading the effort at the United Nations to affirm the human rights of LGBT persons, or condemning a vile law under consideration in Uganda, we are committed to our friends and allies in every region of the world who are fighting for equality and justice. These are not Western concepts; these are universal human rights.
Despite these gains and hard work, there is more to do to turn the tide of inequality and discrimination against the LGBT community. If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, know that the United States stands with you and we are unwavering in our commitment to ending this cycle of hate.
Clinton has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights issues (though she has received some criticism for not supporting same-sex marriage).
In the past she recorded a video for the It Gets Better campaign entitled “Tomorrow Will Be Better” in which she urges young LGBTs to hang on if they are being bullied, to seek help and to know that their lives are precious.
Clinton also used an opening address to the State Department as part of the Pride Month celebrations last year to echo a speech she made 15 years ago on women’s rights, saying: “Just as I was very proud to say the obvious more than 15 years ago in Beijing that human rights are women’s rights — and women’s rights are human rights — let me say today that human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights.”
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