Obama Says Foreign Policy, Aid to Promote Gay Rights

Posted December 6th, 2011 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered all U.S. agencies working abroad to ensure that diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons.

In a memorandum issued Tuesday, President Obama directed agencies, such as the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, 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 protect human rights and advance non-discrimination.

It also orders the agencies to protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.

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.