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President Obama, John Kerry Release Statements Marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

2_obamaTomorrow is IDAHO, and the President has taken note:

Tomorrow, as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination -- no matter who they are or whom they love.

This year, the United States celebrates the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In doing so, we reflect on lessons learned from our own civil rights struggles and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all people are universally protected.

At a time when, tragically, we are seeing increased efforts to criminalize or oppress LGBT persons, we call on partners everywhere to join us in defending the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and in ensuring they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

KerrySecretary of State John Kerry also released a statement:

Today of all days, we are reminded that the cause of justice can and must triumph over hatred and prejudice. This is a day of action for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities and their allies all over the world. It is time to reaffirm our commitment to the equality and dignity of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It’s not lost on anyone that this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) coincides with the 60th anniversary of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Our commitment to advancing the human rights of LGBT persons is part of this country’s long history of fighting to ensure that all people can exercise their human rights.

We have seen incredible progress in the fight to advance the human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBT persons.

And the United States is proud to be doing its part. This past week, we convened religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations to think about how we work together to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons. Next week, we will convene meetings with our private sector allies to discuss the important role of the business community in promoting equality and the ways we can partner through the Global Equality Fund.

But this must be more than a moment to celebrate how far we have come. We know that our work is not complete when countries enact laws targeting LGBT persons and their supporters. We know that our work is not complete when LGBT persons and their allies are harassed, arrested, and even killed simply because of who they are and who they love.

The United States condemns these senseless acts of violence and discrimination. Human rights are universal, and LGBT persons and their allies must be free to exercise them without fear of intimidation or reprisal.

When our LGBT brothers and sisters are threatened anywhere, it is a threat to freedom, justice and dignity of people everywhere. The United States will continue to protect and promote the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide this day and every day. Onward.

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Comments

  1. Blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah. No one should face discrimination??? Defend the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters???? EXCEPT FOR the LGBT employees of federal contractors to whom you still refuse to keep your promise to protect, Mr. President. EXCEPT FOR the LGB service members who, nearly three years after DADT repeal implementation still don't have the protections against harassment and duty discrimination you promised SEVEN YEARS AGO to make happen. EXCEPT FOR transgender troops. who are still arbitrarily banned from open service which you could change with the proverbial stroke of the pen, Mr. President. Ever hear the expression: "Practice what you preach"?

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 16, 2014 8:23:10 PM


  2. Ditto Michael Bedwell. More lip service from POTUS and company.

    Posted by: Richard | May 16, 2014 8:45:59 PM


  3. President Obama has done more for gay rights than any other president in US history and continues to be a advocate for LGBT Rights so its really not President Obama fault if Republicans in congress doesn't want to pass anything legislatively.

    Posted by: Jacob | May 16, 2014 9:00:01 PM


  4. Michael/Richard .. Granted he wouldn't make the top ten strategists list.
    But don't confuse President with Dictator. Imagine waking up every day and trying to deal with a hundred little Putins....with their own cable network and lots and lots of money. If he can successfully declare the sky is blue and water is wet without protest, it's a good day.

    Posted by: Dixichuk | May 16, 2014 9:57:10 PM


  5. As of right now, the epitaph of President Obama and his administrations on LGBT equality would be "He did the least he could do....no, seriously, it would have been very, very difficult for him to have done less."

    They talk a good game onLGBT issues, but when it comes to doing something on the issue, they try as hard as they can to do nothing. If they do do something, they try to make it as meaningless of a something as they can. The removal of protections for LGB servicemembers from the heavily flawed compromise in 2010 is the perfect example. They were actively lobbying against the DADT repeal LGBT activists were trying to get attached to the defense authorization bill. When we finally got one vote short of it being attached in the Senate committee and thereby requiring 60 votes to remove it on the Senate floor, they panicked because they would either get all the blame it it came up that one vote short or none of the credit if LGBT activists got it in the bill with the White House in active opposition. Hence the craptacular compromise that the White House declined to opposed, but certainly didn't push very hard Michael and a dozen other patriots handcuffed themselves to the White House fence, sending a clear signal that we weren't going to back down and wait until 2011 that the compromised DADT repeal bill was passed. Unless you were one of the other 12 people on that fence, none of you are in a position to criticize Michael, who placed his freedom on the line for justice for all LGBT people wanting and willing to serve their country.

    Obama's ongoing chicken-shittery over the ENDA executive order is just the latest manifestation. He promised a EO when he ran for President, but here we are five and a half years later and they are still spewing that same garbage, lying about the EO, trying to find a way out from actually having to do something on the issue, despite multiple letters from members of Congress the last three years urging him to act on the ENDA EO, the latest getting 195 signatories.

    The fact is Obama hasn't acted on LGBT issues unless we figuratively take a crowbar to his knees. The Easter Egg roll invites, the White House champagne reception for Pride, and the lip service press statements and tweets are getting old. We need action. We deserve the promises he made now, not ten minutes before the White House door hits him on the ass on January 20, 2017. How big of a coward do you have to be to steadfastly refuse to issue the ENDA EO on federal contractors when polling from three years ago shows 75% of the American people support the idea?

    Posted by: Craig | May 17, 2014 1:36:19 AM


  6. Obama is far from perfect. What is the alternative? Mitt Romney?

    Posted by: simon | May 17, 2014 9:49:14 AM


  7. Meanwhile in Toronto - Rob Ford did not attend. But not because he's pretending to be in rehab - he was not invited.

    He signed the proclamation - as mayors do - and yet the one he signed was rejected, and deputy mayor Norm Kelly was asked to sign one instead.

    It was a beautiful day in the city yesterday.

    this link provides the transcript for the speech by Toronto PFLAG's President.

    http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=198052

    and the link below is the speech in action. got a few minutes? check it out. share it around. She calls out Rob Ford, calls out the ongoing homophobia, racism, sexism, misogyny with fire and passion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_7dEWaZ5JU

    share it. this is what mothers are supposed to do.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 17, 2014 2:00:24 PM


  8. Don't forget to pick up after Obama and Kerry release statements.

    Posted by: GEB | May 17, 2014 2:06:53 PM


  9. Dear Little Kiwi,

    Thank you for sharing that information and those links. I got choked up a couple times watching the video.

    I don't know how to describe the feeling I had when it was mentioned that PFLAG just a couple weeks ago were finding a home for a Torontonian 10th grader who was rejected by his family. It's disgusting that that's a problem in Canada still.

    I'm glad that Mayor Crack Smoking Bigot wasn't invited.

    Great speech. I'm happy for that.

    By the way, are gay men in Toronto as universally attractive as they are portrayed on OUTTV? I was going to CMP just watching the trailer for Toronto Pride's GreenSpace(sp?). AHHHHH!

    Posted by: BlueRingOctopus | May 17, 2014 3:15:53 PM


  10. The answer to the above question is yes. My first over night experience was at 18, while on a visit to my gay brother. Toronto is a beautiful city.

    Posted by: GEB | May 17, 2014 3:20:28 PM


  11. Thanks guys! My mum truly outdid herself yesterday. As I'm holdin the videocamera, you can't see it - but tears were streaming down my face. I'm in awe of her - my parents have thus far spent their 60s, their retirement years, devoted to LGBTQ Activism and Advocacy. She even found a way to call out our bigoted embarrassment of a mayor with GRACE. She's a knack for that.

    Spread the video around - people need to hear these messages. What we permit, we promote.

    As for Toronto guys - we're ok ;-)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 17, 2014 3:39:01 PM


  12. Dear Little Kiwi,

    I wish you and your family all the best :-)

    The video link has been saved and is ready for me to use at a moment's notice. I will definitely be sharing this with family.

    As far as Toronto guys being 'ok', don't be modest! I'm getting more excited to be moving to Toronto this fall; I'm just a bit disappointed that I might not be able to make this summer's gay festivities. I'm currently stuck out in french Quebec as an anglophone; so isolated and climbing the walls basically.

    Best,

    Posted by: BlueRingOctopus | May 17, 2014 3:57:30 PM


  13. kiss some french boys until then! hugs, brother.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 17, 2014 4:01:59 PM


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