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Obama Directs International Agencies to Ensure Rights and Protection of LGBT People Abroad

President Obama today issued a memorandum directing the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies abroad to advance the human rights of and ensure the safety of LGBT people.

ObamaWrites Obama in the memorandum, which you can read below:

The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights. I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world -- whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation. That is why I declared before heads of state gathered at the United Nations, "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." Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere. Our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal.

By this memorandum I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.

The memo directs agencies to combat the criminalization of homosexuality, protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers, enhance foreign aid to countries with respect to promoting LGBT rights, respond quickly to abuses of LGBT citizens abroad, and engage international organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination.

Read the memorandum, below:

In recognition of Human Rights Day, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a human rights policy speech on Tuesday, December 6, hosted by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

I'll be posting a livestream of it here at 11:55 am ET.

2011lgbt Mem Rel

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  1. This makes me proud to be an American, and proud of our President.

    Posted by: Lucas | Dec 6, 2011 8:09:58 PM

  2. Rick, Jason, Tank, and Rick again are all great. I love and value the contrast they provide. And our President has once again distinguished himself in concern for LGBT people all over the world. As knowing commentators have said here the pro-LGBT stance of an American president is extremely significant in every corner of the world.

    Posted by: uffda | Dec 7, 2011 1:23:31 AM

  3. Very proud of Obama for doing this. Since the mid term elections he has been a fantastic President for LGBT Americans. Last November I was writting comments that I would vote third party or not vote at all rather than reelecting him. Now I'm actually considering sending him a campaign contribution.

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 7, 2011 2:25:07 AM

  4. This is a joke right?? It is only going to further destabilize countries.

    The biggest countries affected will be Egypt and Pakistan..

    Hope he takes it to the Western Asia and South Asia first.

    Posted by: GOOOOO | Dec 7, 2011 2:30:26 PM

  5. We will just have to do our utmost to make sure we don't get saddled with a Republican president, won't we!!!!! Friends and partners don't let friends and partners vote Republican, right?

    Posted by: Mousemess | Dec 23, 2011 4:32:52 AM

  6. Max dearest,
    Liberal = progressive, modern, forward thinking, considering the future, wanting a better life for all, clean air, safe water to drink, good uncontaminated land to grow crops on, reasonably preserving nature and the environment, etc.

    Conservative = staying stuck backward in a time warp in the 1950's, retroactive, blind to the future, selfish, not caring if 99% of other people have a better life, not concerned with whether or not we have a habitable planet, profits before breathable air and drinkable water, mercury etc. contamination OK, hopelessly bigoted, routinely violates separation of church and state if a conservative politician, etc.

    If one reads, listens and observes enough, these distinctions become clearer to some by now and also become reinforced in one's mind over the years. I arrived at these conclusions by my own observations time and time again. A perceivable pattern begins to emerge and this what I see and hear. Maybe not what you see and hear, Max.

    Posted by: Mousemess | Dec 23, 2011 4:49:41 AM

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