European Union | Gay Rights | Hillary Clinton | Moldova | News

Gay Rights Activist Questions Hillary Clinton at EU


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on a man at a Q&A session at the European Parliament today  "because he [was wearing] a T-shirt that [said] 'I Love Hillary'" on it.

Clinton The man stood up and said: "My name is Max. I am from Moldova, and I am a gay rights activist. In seven countries in the world homosexuals are sentenced to death and many more to prison. A lot of gay men around the world die because of the HIV AIDS policies that the Bush administration had that did not allow to spend money on prevention for men who have sex with men. How do you see the foreign policy of the United States changing in the coming years in the field of human rights and in particular sexual rights and gay and lesbian rights?"

As I've noted before, things certainly aren't good in Moldova.

Answered Clinton: "Human rights is and always will be one of the pillars of our foreign policy. And in particular, the persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians is something that we take very seriously. It is terribly unfortunate that right now in unfortunately many places in the world violence against gays and lesbians, certainly discrimination and prejudice are not just occurring but condoned and protected. And we would hope that over the next few years we could have some influence in trying to change those attitudes..."

Watch Clinton's entire answer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This is an excellent response. I liked the fact that Hillary called us out by name and didn't try to use vague language to mask her statement. Previous Secretaries of State avoided using the words "gay and lesbian" as if it were kryptonite.

    The Obama Administration is doing exactly what it said it would do with regards to gay rights on the international stage. We've seen some changes already at the UN, where Hillary ordered our diplomats to vote for the French declaration on decriminalizing homosexuality (a reversal of the Bush policy).

    Unfortunately, we don't really have much of a bully pulpuit to stand on. America itself isn't exactly paradise for gay rights, is it?

    Posted by: John in CA | Mar 6, 2009 6:18:47 PM

  2. I noticed she unconsciously shook her head when saying, "is something that we take very seriously". I truly hope she does take it seriously.

    Posted by: RP | Mar 6, 2009 6:29:24 PM

  3. Thanks, Hill.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Mar 6, 2009 6:29:28 PM

  4. Unfortunately, there are actually eight (not seven) countries where being gay is punishable by death.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 6, 2009 6:31:19 PM

  5. @JOHN IN CA
    As a Canadian who has been married 5 years, I do love reminding my American colleagues who insist that they live in "The Free-est Country On Earth (TM)" that that is hardly true.

    However, give yourself a break -- the U.S. is leaps and bounds ahead of the uncivilized Islamist theocracies that execute gay people publicly. Not to mention hell-holes like Jamaica where the general public beat and murder gay people.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 6, 2009 6:44:35 PM

  6. s a gay man, I am proud that Max figured out a way to get a world leader to speak about gay rights on the global stage. A lot of flattery went a long way, but he asked his question and his method got him press attention in a positive way. Wait until the end of the clip and you will hear Hillary say "human rights are the inalienable right of every person regardless of who that person loves." A huge quote if you think about the discussion of what is an inalienable right by the California Supreme Court during the Proposition 8 hearing yesterday. Now if Obama would just show our community tangible proof of his support.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 6, 2009 7:16:50 PM

  7. But Hillary--PEPFAR is what Max was talking about when he stated that Bush administration HIV/AIDS policies did not provide money for funding prevention efforts for men who have sex with men.

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 6, 2009 7:17:32 PM

  8. She doesn't sound very enthused about promoting gay rights. I don't think the Obama administration is really fighting for gays as much as it should be, and I think we have to fight much, much more, ourselves, to secure basic rights to safety, housing, employment, and love for ourselves in all countries. The USA doesn't even secure those rights for gays inside its borders, so it's hard to do that internationally.

    Posted by: X | Mar 6, 2009 7:34:23 PM

  9. Talk is cheap! *cough* She grimaced when she received and answered that question..."What the hell does that have to do with loving me or, more importantly, talking about loving me? Faggots."

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 6, 2009 7:37:06 PM

  10. Look, those who hate Obama and Clinton are always going to find something to criticize.

    They're doing precisely what politicians always do. They're paying us lip-service and waiting for us to get our act together. But they're not going to do anything by themselves. We need to provide them with a reason to act. I don't understand why gays and lesbians continue to think they can just sit around and wait for Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, or some half-assed Supreme Court to swoop down and "save" them.

    The realists among us understand that we have to do most of the actual fighting ourselves. America is a sprawling empire of 300 million (not counting various dependencies, protectorates, and colonies). And if you're not loud and obnoxious, you get kicked to the back of the bus by those who, quite frankly, are speaking up for themselves. We have to demand what's rightfully ours. When they can no longer afford to ignore us, they will prioritize our issues.

    I had hoped that the aftermath of that disasterous Prop. 8 campaign would've gotten us out of our complacency. But apparently, we not quite there yet. We'll see how the protests against Prop. 8 is upheld goes.

    FYI - I haven't mentioned the Republicans because I don't care about lost causes. And yeah, trying to convince a bunch of religious fanatics whose space god thinks you're an abomination is a lost cause. Lets just deal with the Democrats first.

    Posted by: John in CA | Mar 6, 2009 8:35:14 PM

  11. Tank: jerk.

    Hillary NAMED us on the world stage -- thank you. I do think this administration is light years ahead of the Pleistocene Politics of the Bushes, however I'm not wearing rose-colored glasses. Having Hillary in with the Obama administration is going to keep our struggle for equality in their continuing agenda. Believe it.

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 6, 2009 8:47:47 PM

  12. This man from Moldova needs to understand that it is not Bush administration policies which killed gay men. It is promiscuous, unfettered sex with infected total strangers which sickens gay men. When you put yourself in the firing line of the VD firing range, expect to get burned.

    What also peeves me is the implication that gay men having sex with other men is somehow associated with getting AIDS. Simple fact is that you won't get any disease if both partners are healthy. So stop linking male homosexuality to disease. Decent, monogamous homosexual men are having their image destroyed by the promiscuous sleazy ones.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 6, 2009 9:37:46 PM

  13. I believe in what I can see, hear, taste and touch. "She named us! She named US!!!!!" This diva worship is tedious and is a part of our marginalization. Who the hell cares if she named us on the STAGE? Yes, she's better than Rice, but that's like saying that a quiet drive through the country is better than drinking ACID.

    It's all chattering noise. We do need to give them a reason to act. They are, of course, self interested politicians like any other. If you think of them as anything more than that, you've bought into their sales pitch.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 6, 2009 10:35:21 PM

  14. Jason, thanks for the lesson in moral superiority! I don't have HIV, but I came out at a very young age and have done some stupid things, sexual and otherwise. I'm glad I don't have it, but I don't condemn those who do, as you do.

    Simple fact: having sex with other men is most certainly associated with getting HIV/AIDS, both in popular perception and in reality. Some "decent" people lie. Some "healthy" people aren't. Some condoms break. And of course we're at greater risk of contracting HIV than are straights, because the disease is more common among gay men. I certainly agree that all sexually active people should be safe, and I personally prefer monogamy. But life is more complicated than you seem to realize.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 6, 2009 10:36:11 PM

  15. Fuck you & die, you self-righteous puny prick "Jason"!!! As a 55 year old gay man who has had to attend many more memorials to folks WHO SUCCUMBED TO A VIRUS, NOT A MORAL DEFICIENCY, many more than there are years to my life, you should choke on your condemnation of people about whom you know nothing! Your "People" magazine view of life's vital information grasps about as far beyond your upturned snotty nose as a blind mole in a ditch. Men & women all over this beleaguered globe are born into ignorance BY THE BILLIONS! A meager well fed and fatted fraction here in America enjoy the liberty of casting widespread aspersions on the rest of humanity that suffers to get through each & every day on an empty stomach, an empty wallet & an empty soul deprived of dignity by despots & corruption about which you obviously KNOW NOTHING! Shut your pie hole, you disaster of a human being if you in any way believe in Karma, reincarnation or any variety of a Christian God. If indeed you are free of spiritual reasons for respecting that about which you know nothing, then consult with the learned atheists who nonetheless revere humanity for humanity's sake. The volumes you need to learn about life beyond your smugness would burst the stacks of any library. But then again, I'm the fool who assumes you might know what a library is.

    Posted by: RomanFingers | Mar 6, 2009 10:38:26 PM

  16. Hey, I despise the idiotic George Bush as much as anyone, but for someone from a foreign country to blame their contraction of HIV on him is beyond is the notion that our government has ever given two rat shits about gay rights around the world.

    But if Hillary and this guy lying back and forth to each other has made them feel better somehow, more power to them in their delusional little bubbleworlds.

    Posted by: paul c | Mar 6, 2009 10:51:48 PM

  17. Oops! I meant to include the words "I think" before my entreaty that you, Jason, "should choke on your condemnation of people about whom you know nothing!" Please, rid the world of one last traitorous bigot and make friends with a cyanide dose sooner than later, darling bumpkin. Or, in the alternative, simply inflict a thought preventative wound upon that sorely underutilized brain knocking loosely around in your inflated head, okay?

    Posted by: RomanFingers | Mar 6, 2009 10:53:12 PM

  18. @ Jason You are a sleazy asshat. And not in a good way.

    Posted by: Dray | Mar 6, 2009 11:03:58 PM

  19. Wow, I was just going to comment on the courage this young man showed, instead to be confronted by some rather vitriolic commentary as to HIV transmission via unprotected sex. Come on, guys. We ALL prefer sex without a condom, and the sexual trigger is perhaps the strongest hormonal surge we can experience as human beings. Let's work on curing HIV and STDs so that our generation and future generations can return to the traditional joys of sex without all the latex interference - gay and straight (though who would want to put it in one of THOSE things is beyond me!). Of course, in the meantime, we must do more to educate our communities about the necessity of protected and safe sex with that hot man (or woman) staring over at us from the corner of the bar.

    HIV sucks. We get closer to a cure every day. Work on the cure, and work on safety, too. It's a two front war.

    Posted by: Tom | Mar 6, 2009 11:33:15 PM

  20. @ JASON: I would much rather be the HIV infected slut that I am than a miserable, judgemental ass like you.


    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 7, 2009 12:15:37 AM

  21. what is with the two people who are red faced and clearly giggling behind the I HEART HILLARY shirt wearer... see at 1:38

    Are they in hysterics or are they gushing that Hillary is addressing this?

    Posted by: Aaron K | Mar 7, 2009 12:30:49 AM

  22. Ladies, ladies.

    Jason is the unhinged freak from Australia who's constantly on here (and all over the Web) blathering on about THE INSIDIOUS LIBERAL BISEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARD!!!!!!!!!!! She's also an HIV denialist. And batshit crazy.

    Feel free to rip her a new asshole. But it's not like she's capable of engaging in--or being influenced by--a reasonable argument.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 7, 2009 12:39:08 AM

  23. Max from Moldavia is a total cutie. I'd have some man-with-man sex with him in a NY minute.

    The troll Jason drives Max's point of the need for prevention even further. It's ignorance like the troll's that needs to be eliminated as well as the virus.

    Posted by: Mark in NYC | Mar 7, 2009 12:43:45 AM

  24. jeebus, some on here hate hillary so much that they analyze her body language and gestures to find something to complain about. how do you stand your sad, bitter selves?

    let's just take the question and answer at face value, shall we? don't curse the darkness, light a candle.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 7, 2009 3:48:50 AM

  25. Aaron K, I noticed that too. I don't know how long this conference lasted, but there were other awkward responses even from the people on stage. Call me an optimist (no one else does), but I doubt they were mocking the guy two feet away. Maybe it was just a long conference, or maybe they were mocking Hillary. Who knows.

    24Play, I know all about the crazy Jason, I just don't know if there's more than one Jason these days---the comments sections have become so much more crowded, and my new browser doesn't show commenters' email addresses. But yes, whether it's one or two, the Jason is crazy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 7, 2009 5:10:02 AM

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