Obama administration pushes for international gay rightsBreaking News, Top Highlights Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
Under Obama’s leadership, the United States will prioritize gay rights as an international issue, The New York Times is reporting. The efforts will be funded by American foreign aid.
The new initiative is likely to exasperate relations with countries who do not support homosexuality including Saudi Arabia.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated Obama’s move to prioritize gay rights in a speech delivered in connection with Human Rights Day to be celebrated Dec. 10.
“I am not saying that gay people can’t or don’t commit crimes,” she said. “They can and they do. Just like straight people. And when they do, they should be held accountable. But it should never be a crime to be gay.”
The initiative was prompted by Uganda’s decision to make homosexuality illegal – which would include the death penalty for those found to be gay or lesbian.
“I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world,” President Obama said. He added: “Whether it is passing laws that criminalize L.G.B.T. status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women and children for their perceived sexual orientation.”
The State Department’s latest findings on international human rights surveyed those countries which criminalized homosexuality. In Saudi Arabia, “sexual activity between two persons of the same gender is punishable by death or flogging. It is illegal for men ‘to behave like women’ or to wear women’s clothes and vice versa.”
Countries that outlaw homosexuality may face increased pressure as the United States moves forward with making gay rights an international affair.
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