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Hillary Clinton’s Astonishing LGBT Rights Speech

Hillary Clinton’s Astonishing LGBT Rights Speech

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday marked the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by giving an astonishingly powerful speech in Geneva.

The speech was before an audience of diplomats, including those from the most homophobic countries, as well as invited LGBT rights defenders from those countries and others.

It was part of a general push from the Obama administration on LGBT rights internationally, announced yesterday.

After speaking of the development of human rights protections in the aftermath of the Second World War, Clinton explained:

I want to talk about the work we have left to do to protect one group of people whose human rights are still denied in too many parts of the world today. I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time.

Clinton explained how opponents need to be won over and directly addressed many of them, saying:

Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality. And protecting the human rights of all people, gay or straight, is not something that only Western governments do.

She spoke about what the State Department is doing to promote LGBT human rights, and what it plans.

Hear the speech:

A backlash has begun with Rick Perry predictably saying that human rights for gay people are ‘not in America’s interests.’

Ugandan presidential adviser John Nagenda told the BBC:

That fellow [Mr Cameron] said the same thing. Now this woman [Clinton] is interfering.

If the Americans think the can tell us what to do, they can go to hell.

Although the Obama statement does mention using foreign aid as ‘leverage,’ Clinton pointed to using diplomacy and funding grassroots advocates.

Many other countries, such as Germany and The Netherlands, already do this. The UK-based international LGBT rights group The Kaleidoscope Trust has urged the British government to also back practical support, saying:

David Cameron has spoken up in defence of equality for gay and lesbian people at home and abroad, but Britain lags behind when it comes to action and practical support.

Related stories:

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Update: Nigerian Legal Attack on LGBT Worsens

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73 comments

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4:58PM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

Bravo to Ms. Clinton for All she does for human rights for LGBT people. I hope her words will wake up the people who can rid their countries and communities of hatred and violence towards the LGBT Community. Free and Equal in Dignity and Rights should be for all people for all time.

12:00AM PST on Dec 28, 2011

It is true that homosexuality exists in the animal kingdom. It is not new, however, making sure that each person receives human rights is new. New means that there will be dissension. We must persevere so that each person receives his or her rights.

3:34PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

She lies like crazy. Search on youtube when she was talking again about some other "freedoms" and one guy was taken out because he spoke the truth...she just continued her speech for freedom....please. She lies so much that it's surprising that whole world is not frozen already.

3:06PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

wow, good job Hillary! Glad she spoke out.

12:28PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

It is the CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS, who can't get THEIR "agenda" accepted here in the US, who go over to Africa and poison the minds of "leaders" {who went to the same Missionary Schools sponsored by the same Fundamentalist denominations -- that's the connection}.

12:05PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

"Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality."
Well said, Ms. Clinton!
Being gay OBVIOUSLY has to be, everywhere and in all times and in all areas, AS OLD AS THE HUMAN RACE; and even older, our primate cousins engage in same-sex relationships too!

Those mis-leaders of their people who claim that being gay is a foreign, new, Western importation to their formerly-"pure" cultures, have got it EXACTLY BACKWARDS; anthropologists and scholars of history have found that it is the Western colonizers and their accompanying Christian missionaries, who FIRST imported bigotry and intolerance to these cultures!
ALL native cultures, since they ALL had "gay" people among them {defined in various ways, not necessarily divided up into our Western categories}, also had some sort of cultural SPACE for such people. Often, in fact, they were considered to be artists or leaders or healers, bringers of good fortune, or otherwise highly valued.
This is true of African cultures, Native North and South American cultures {where same-sex marriage existed LONG BEFORE COLUMBUS}, in the Pacific Islands, Asia, etc. etc. etc.

It would be good for LGBTQ people to do some research into their own history; and see how universally they openly existed; and were often HONORED by their cultures in some way also!

It is the CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS, who can't get THEIR "agenda" accepted here in the US, who go over to Africa and poison the minds of "leaders" {who went to the same Missionar

9:45AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Hillary - YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:02AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Way to go, Hillary. Very good to hear a leading American politician unashamedly saying the right thing, even though she knows many in the audience won't like it.

Wish there was more like this on other issues.

8:41AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Good job, Hilary. Well said and very true.

7:07AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

It's a start.

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