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Hillary Clinton Discusses Challenges of Pushing for LGBT Rights Where the Existence of Gays is Denied

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about advocating for LGBT rights in anti-gay countries at an appearance yesterday at Syracuse University, NewsCore reports:

Syracuse_clinton"You can imagine the conversations that I have," she said.

In parts of Africa and Asia, she said, gay rights is "just a totally foreign concept."

"I mean, the first response is, 'We don't have any of those here,'" she said, to laughter. "Second response is, 'If we did, we would not want to have them and would want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. And it's your problem, United States of America, that you have so many of those people. So don't come here and tell us to protect the rights of people we don't have or that we don't want.'"

"It's a very difficult conversation because it's just not been one that people have had up until now," she said.

Clinton said the same was true for women's rights: "If you're someone, as I am, who believes strongly in the empowerment of women ... in a lot of places, it's just not understood."

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  1. or when we canucks try to grasp the concept of a healthcare system that is run for profit.

    it's, literally, a "foreign" concept. the mind struggles to figure out how others can go along with it, only to realize that people simply accept the reality of the world(s) they grow up in.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 24, 2012 2:24:54 PM

  2. or when we canucks try to grasp the concept of a healthcare system that is run for profit.

    it's, literally, a "foreign" concept. the mind struggles to figure out how others can go along with it, only to realize that people simply accept the reality of the world(s) they grow up in.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 24, 2012 2:24:56 PM

  3. Lack of gun control is really puzzling to anyone who isn't American. I don't understand how Americans seemed so puzzled everytime a teenager opens fire in a college, or innocents are gunned down in the street. You 'protect' the right to carry dangerous weapons everywhere but wont let people drink a glass of wine on the beach....that seems odd to everyone outside of the US...and as for smoking ? Is that seriously more dangerous than an AK47 in a bar ?

    Posted by: paul | Apr 24, 2012 2:43:12 PM

  4. exactly, Paul!

    people have a right to carry a loaded gun but I can't visit certain municipalities with my trained-by-two-homos pitbull!?!?

    just as some people can't imagine a world where woman have equal rights, where LGBT people exist and are accepted and live open lives, so too are concepts such as "a right to walk around with a loaded gun, but healthcare is only for those who can afford it" utterly galling.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 24, 2012 2:51:26 PM

  5. She rules, says a different Paul.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 24, 2012 2:54:26 PM

  6. They don't have those people because they are invisible. They know how a woman look like but they may not see a gay person simply those people just hide themselves in the closet.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 24, 2012 2:54:59 PM

  7. As I said before, Mrs Kearney in South Boston always said :
    "Thank God there are no homosexuals in Ireland ".

    May God bless her.....but she too was wrong.

    Posted by: JackFkTwist | Apr 24, 2012 3:23:34 PM

  8. it even exists here in north america...wherein the anti-gay crowd mistakenly thinks there are no gay people in their families.
    being anti-gay doesn't mean you're going to be "free" from being related to a gay person.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 24, 2012 3:26:22 PM

  9. This lady, Hillary Clinton, is one of the greatest politicians I have ever seen or listened to.
    She has the ball$ of ten........and she will make a truly great President of the United States in 2016......and she is certainly a dynamic, conviction politician.
    And what a friend she is to our community.

    Move over right wing extremists, your time is over.

    Posted by: JackFkTwist | Apr 24, 2012 3:28:42 PM

  10. Or a world where the Top 1 Percent owns 40 percent Of the nation’s wealth

    Posted by: Mawm | Apr 24, 2012 3:32:22 PM

  11. How can one agree to listen to a country's representative about gay rights, when the country she is from is far from achieving it as well?

    Posted by: JNJ | Apr 24, 2012 3:38:27 PM

  12. "They don't have those people because they are invisible. They know how a woman look like but they may not see a gay person simply those people just hide themselves in the closet."

    Actually, SIMON, you have to talk to older Gay people from Africa and the Arab countries. Transgender Gay folks were quite visible for centuries. Some older Gay folks will tell you that the current violent persecution of Gays is something new--just like the use of the term "Gay" is new in these countries.

    No decent human can dispute that the rise of the Gay Civil Rights Movement has been a good--a great thing for Gays in the West and parts of Asia, but for some others on this planet it has been used as an excuse for jailing, torturing and killing them.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 24, 2012 3:41:53 PM

  13. dumb comment JNJ

    Posted by: chad | Apr 24, 2012 4:57:31 PM

  14. actually, JNJ does sort of have a point.

    it's very hard to tell one group to support Equal Rights for LGBT People when your own country is still lagging behind other developed nations in terms of LGBT Equality.

    this doesn't negate Madam Secretary's work, or words, but the best way to lead is by example. in many ways, the US stance may appear (to other countries) to be a stance of "don't discriminate against LGBT people that way...discriminate against them THIS way instead."

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 24, 2012 5:22:12 PM

  15. The denial of the existence of gays in Africa has absolutely nothing to do with the american position on gay rights.

    Posted by: chad | Apr 24, 2012 5:29:40 PM

  16. The fact that we can even have this discussion openly without fear of being hunted down makes the comparison of the struggles of African gays to American ones absurd.

    No, the fight for gay rights in the states is not over but at least we can fight openly, stand in front of the government and demand equal treatment. This just isn't even a remote possibility in many places in the world.

    Posted by: chad | Apr 24, 2012 5:35:29 PM

  17. true, and i don't deny that. but the message is muddied when the US still has anti-gay discrimination written into law and policy.

    it's saying "hey, don't persecute these people....oh, well, persecute them a little, they're stilL SORT OF a threat..."

    it's the culture of prejudice that keeps people from Coming Out. Yes, it's worse in parts of Africa and Asia, but as we all know the US is a beacon of hope for people around the world, and an indicator of progress.

    i think it's fair to applaud what the US has done, and what Madam Secretary is doing and saying while still acknowledging that the US is indeed still sending a mixed-message about LGBT people.

    granting some rights while denying others isn't a terribly convincing way to let other nations know that LGBT people aren't to be feared.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 24, 2012 5:43:27 PM

  18. Hillary Clinton is a very bright and articulate champion for progressive causes. We are fortunate to have her as our Sec of State.She has said that she will be leaving the State Dept at the end of Obama"s first term. She will be a tough act to follow.

    Posted by: jack | Apr 24, 2012 7:36:59 PM

  19. Favorite quote from Hillary: "I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president!"

    Yes, honey, you are the president.

    And you were impeached right after that whole Oval Office Fellatio thing with Monica Lewinsky because you did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

    Posted by: Alan | Apr 24, 2012 11:11:25 PM

  20. I agree with you Littlekiwi, mostly.


    Posted by: chad | Apr 25, 2012 9:06:33 AM

  21. Hey, Hillary, tell us again what your position on same-sex marriage is.....

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 25, 2012 12:22:58 PM

  22. Friends for me this is not about being fans of the Clinton's. This is about the realty that right now is the actual mood in this country. We can be real about it or we can be like the conservatives in 08 and stick to Sarah Palin wishful thinking plan only in our case its Barack Obama wishful thinking plan.
    How many states have put laws on the books about abortion, gays, immigration, faith in government, which are all hurting civil rights and are even re-defining the first amendment? How many times has faith crossed the line into civil laws in the states? More of these kinds of laws have been done SINCE Obama's election then was done BEFORE his election. This is because the Obama network can only focusing on the Federal offices. They do not have a network in place to be able to do anything else. That takes decades of hard work to create such a network and none in the Obama camp have done that. I am looking down the road at the next 4 years of across the board government in my country and going OH MY unless we find a solution we are going to see even worse laws get passed until they will be strong enough to be done on a national level.
    The Clinton's have that network in place now with three Presidential campaigns behind them and decades of hard work but we need a rally point that will help all those state candidates. If Hillary announced, overnight you would see endorsements going back and forth for key governorship's, state legislatures and other local and federal offices. We could avert a red state country and turn it into a blue states country. This en-turn would even encourage the Republican Party leadership to abandon the tea party and tamper down the Christian Right. They want to so bad even now but the silent majority has not shown them cause to. Many are saying even now that Berry Goldwater was right about these people taking over our party. If we wait until 2016 there will be no shot for any of us including Hillary Clinton!
    No matter if Mitt or Obama is elected it turns out the same on state level elections. So for me this is about stopping a teavanglist take over not a Hillary Clinton fan club or bitter still about 08 things. If there were an Obama network or another person network who could do what the Clintons could do in stopping that take over I would be writing for them. No one else has done the hard work over decades like the Clintons. I can’t think of another name besides Hillary Clinton that can give us what we absolutely must have right now to stop these people. If you can give me a better name I am all ears! The reality mood of this country says Barack Obama can't get it done, heck he will be lucky to just get himself re-elected let alone help anyone else. This is not a time to chill Hillary. Those laws are coming! That is unless we all find the courage do what it takes to harness the silent majority of the country for actionable results that can keep those laws from being presented

    Posted by: Roger | Apr 29, 2012 1:38:57 PM

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