Barack Obama | Gay Rights | News | United Nations

Obama Calls for All Countries to Stand Up for Rights of Gays and Lesbians in Address to UN General Assembly: VIDEO

From President Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly today:

Un_obama And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs. No country can afford the cancer of corruption. Together, we must harness the power of open societies and open economies. That is why we have partnered with countries from across the globe to launch a new partnership on Open Government that helps ensure accountability and empower citizens. No country should deny people their rights, the freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere. And no country can realize its potential if half its population cannot reach theirs. This week, the United States signed a new Declaration on Women’s Participation. Next year, we should each announce the steps we are taking to break down the economic and political barriers that stand in the way of women and girls. This is what our commitment to human progress demands.


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  1. now, if only we could do the same here.

    Posted by: deeky | Sep 21, 2011 11:57:52 AM

  2. What will President Rick Perry say to the world about civil rights for Gay people? And what will President Perry's 2 or 3 Supreme Court appointees do for civil rights for Gay people-- and the future federal court challenges to those states which have marriage equality? We'll find out.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 21, 2011 12:23:10 PM

  3. Dear President Obama:
    Please start at home by supporting marriage equality for all Americans. It's kind of hard to take you seriously.

    Posted by: Janice | Sep 21, 2011 12:25:16 PM

  4. don't forget to support Palestine, Obama!

    Posted by: Age of Dostona | Sep 21, 2011 12:36:46 PM

  5. I know we're normally just supposed to smile and accept that politicians are hypocrites, but holy crap Obama, you are such a hypocrite.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Sep 21, 2011 12:37:42 PM

  6. WHOM, not Who!

    Janice and Eric26, I will never understand the prerogative of gays and lesbians like you who want to destroy our future with a Rick Perry presidency by ruining Obama's chances at re-election.

    Posted by: Mike C | Sep 21, 2011 12:49:53 PM

  7. Ummm guys, it might not be just about us. With Obama's popularity in Africa, he might do some good saving lives.

    Posted by: Gus | Sep 21, 2011 12:52:55 PM

  8. @ Age of Dostona:

    you beat me to it!

    Posted by: Myackie | Sep 21, 2011 12:55:06 PM

  9. The gay marriage thing is a political hot potato which won't help Obama get reelected, and may prevent it. I want him to be the idealist, too, but I will gladly accept that when Middle Eastern and African nations are murdering our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and homophobic churches are endorsing these practices, there are more imprtant things at the moment than a wedding ceremony. I am very grateful to hear this speech. I do not believe it is hypocritical at all. And I am not a big fan of Obama, by and large.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Sep 21, 2011 1:05:56 PM

  10. America cannot lecture the world about gay rights when they are lagging behind many other developed countries and still treat it's own citizens as second class citizens. I know USA don't kill gay people (well not until Rick Perry becomes President anyway) but countries in Latin America, Europe and South Africa kind of laugh at America when they make statements like this. Well intentioned but meaningless. Look how long it has taken you guys to get the Army to allow gay people to work for them.

    Posted by: paul | Sep 21, 2011 1:17:21 PM

  11. The USA is hardly in a position to lecture other countries on LGBT rights, when we do not give LGBT Americans equality at home.

    Posted by: SteveC | Sep 21, 2011 1:31:19 PM

  12. @MIKEC Commenting on Towleroad isn't going to ruin Obama's chance at anything. That's all I'm doing.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Sep 21, 2011 1:32:28 PM

  13. Jeez. You Obamahaters play so easily into the hands of the radical right. Only one person will be elected president next year. And it is sickening to see you side with the radical right in pushing for what will truly be a scary presidency under Perry.

    I am not saying Obama is perfect. Clearly not. But he is moving the country in a direction I believe is better than any Republican would. Don't you see that he's "evolving" on the issue of gay marriage is code for "I have no problem with gay marriage, but I can't support it as it will tank my chances at re-election." Back in the days (not so long ago) when we had no choice to live in the closet, we were really good at reading what people said without them being overt. The raised eyebrow, a slight grin would communicate so much. What happened to that intuition? And it is especially ridiculous to be critical a day after the repeal of dadt. Which will be repealed under a republican.

    I really get emotional when I hear people who are against Obama. Especially here. Because you are helping usher in a new age of conservatism and a return to a world that I don't want to live in.

    So while you may be frustrated by the pace of change, please keep in perspective what has been and what might come to be as a result of your negativity.

    Posted by: dms | Sep 21, 2011 1:33:26 PM

  14. So...he's going to have DOMA overturned? That would certainly show the world that this is more than lip service.

    Posted by: Laura | Sep 21, 2011 1:47:51 PM

  15. You people make me laugh. Obama is speaking to representatives of countries were gay people are persecuted and killed by their own countrymen. That does not in anyway equate to the rights to two gay people to get a marriage certificate.

    America -- proving how spoiled we are on a daily basis.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Sep 21, 2011 1:54:01 PM

  16. I'm glad that Obama is telling other countries that we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians. And of course, we need to keep fighting for full equality here at home in the US too. We must elect officials who will stand up for us. So the question is - ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?

    Posted by: Alan | Sep 21, 2011 2:00:47 PM

  17. Whether you like Obama or the democrats or not, you'd NEVER hear a republican president saying anything quite like it, remember that. If Perry or Romney were president, they'd veto repeal of DADT make no mistake about that in deferrence to the Tea Party scumbaggers who want NO equality for LGBT people, absolutely NONE and make no mistake, they'd make sure DOMA remained intact.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Sep 21, 2011 2:03:56 PM

  18. @DMS...ah! a voice of reason...thank you.
    I can tell you that I agree with many that we have a long way to go. But, we've come so far and are soooooo much closer to equality now. Sit back...we have it pretty good here...just look at what they do to us in much of Africa and elsewhere. It's not perfect, and we want it to continue to improve going forward...but enjoy what we've already accomplished please!

    Posted by: LISA G | Sep 21, 2011 2:08:00 PM

  19. thank you DMS for your lucid comment. I never expected Obama's outright support for SSM in a first term because there would not be a second if he did - that's just the reality of it.

    And as others point out, if you are here and you think there is no difference between him and a Rick Perry, or even a Romney, you are in for a sad awakening. I'm flashing back to gay and progressive support for Nader in 2000, which got us GW Bush for President. In case you haven't been paying attention, a Perry presidency would have us all looking back to the golden progressive Bush era.

    Posted by: antb | Sep 21, 2011 2:10:08 PM

  20. What the hell are some of you guys doing ?

    Obama is the only show in town......stop whinging and splitting the vote.

    It's simple:
    we have no hope of keeping what progress we have made with a nut case like Perry in office.
    This constant carping about Obama's inadequacies seems deliberately designed to throw away any chance of a progressive liberal in office.
    We need some radical legislation over the next four years and as
    DerrickfromPhilly says, imagine if an elected Neo Conservative fascist gets to appoint two more Justices to the Supreme Court, .....we're all f***ed.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 21, 2011 2:14:09 PM

  21. Ok. So WHY while we were celebrating yesterday were his DOJ thugs back in court demaning that the LCR case ruling that discriminating against gays in the military is unconstitutional be vacated—when that is the ONLY thing that could keep a future Repug Prez from bringing the ban back—AND empowering the Pentagon NOW to deny gays equal protections and benefits NOT banned by DOMA?


    Posted by: Michael | Sep 21, 2011 2:23:10 PM

  22. @Michael Bedwell : Good point ! Let the courts decide on the constitutionality of the DADT laws/rules.......that way they can be struck down ab initio, with all the rights to sue devolving on those who have been wronged.
    It is in the public interest that the case should have a judicial determination.
    It is not moot.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 21, 2011 2:29:17 PM

  23. Thanks, Mr. President.

    Barack Obama, the most pro-gay US President ever.

    Posted by: Sean | Sep 21, 2011 2:29:38 PM

  24. Will John Baird, Canada's Conservative, gay Minister of Foreign Affairs echo Obama on this point when he takes the same podium Thursday?

    Not likely.

    Posted by: tcw | Sep 21, 2011 2:33:26 PM

  25. He's got MY vote!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 21, 2011 2:51:50 PM

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