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Obama Administration To Promote And Protect LGBT Rights Through Foreign Aid, Diplomacy

“The Obama administration said Tuesday that it will intensify efforts to fight discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people as a major element of its foreign policy,” the Washington Post reports (DeYoung/Wilson, 12/6). “In the first U.S. government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens abroad,” President Obama issued a presidential memorandum on Tuesday “instruct[ing] agencies to use foreign aid to promote such rights,” the Guardian writes.   

“In a speech in Geneva to mark International Human Rights Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed the presidential directive,” the Guardian notes (McVeigh, 12/6). She said, “Costs are incurred whenever any group is treated as lesser or the other, whether they are women, racial, or religious minorities, or the LGBT. Former President Mogae of Botswana pointed out recently that for as long as LGBT people are kept in the shadows, there cannot be an effective public health program to tackle HIV and AIDS. Well, that holds true for other challenges as well,” according to the speech transcript. A fact sheet and background briefing also are available from the State Department (12/6).