Obama Says Foreign Policy, Aid to Promote Gay Rights

Posted December 6th, 2011 at 8:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is ordering U.S. agencies overseas to work harder to protect the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons.

In a memorandum issued Tuesday, President Obama directed the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal entities, to fight the criminalization of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons abroad and to combat discrimination.

The directive orders agencies to use foreign assistance to advance non-discrimination and to protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva on Tuesday said gay rights and human rights are the same thing, and said it should “never be a crime” to be homosexual.

In September, Mr. Obama told the United Nations General Assembly that no country should deny people their rights because of who they love.

Tuesday's announcement is one of several actions aimed at promoting the rights of gays and lesbians, a key Democratic constituency.