Barack Obama Makes US a Global Leader on LGBT Human Rights

Obama RainbowWith President Obama at the helm, the United States has not only seen unprecedented advancements in human and civil rights for LGBT Americans but also taken a leadership role on the world stage to stand up for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across the globe. The United States not only signed a joint statement by some 85 countries on ending violence, criminal sanctions, and other human rights violations directed at people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, it took a leading role. The Council on Global Equality issued the following statement praising the efforts of the United States:
The Council is gratified by the strong support shown by the U.S. Government and by the Department of State in particular. Earlier today, the Department released a fact sheet outlining key components of the statement. As noted in that document, the U.S. played a strong leadership role in today’s result, and the newly adopted statement adds a number of references not seen in previous LGBT statements at the UN.
From President Obama's statement on March 22, the day the joint statement was issued:
This morning, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, some 85 countries joined the United States in reaffirming our joint commitment to end acts of violence and human rights abuses on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The President is proud of the work we have done to build international consensus on this critical issue and is committed to continuing our determined efforts to advance the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
And from our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
As I said last June, gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights. We will continue to promote human rights around the world for all people who are marginalized and discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity. And we will not rest until every man, woman and child is able to live up to his or her potential free from persecution or discrimination of any kind.
It wasn't that long ago that the United States government openly and shamefully opposed human rights for LGBT people in front of the world.

Liberty and freedom for all—just not the gays. The United States becomes the lone major western nation to refuse to sign an historic United Nations declaration that affirms gay rights and seeks to decriminalize homosexuality.
Fast-forward two years or so, and just see where we are - roughly two years and one president later.

But this isn't the first time the Obama administration has demanded that the world respect the rights of all people, including LGBT people. The United States pushed for and won a vote in the UN General Assembly condemning anti-gay violence and killing in December, reversing an earlier statement by anti-gay countries. The State Department accepted all three LGBT rights related recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council. In President Obama's trip to Latin America, he announced that he and President Rousseff of Brazil agreed to promote LGBT human rights through a special rapporteur on LGBT issues at the Organization of American States.

And President Obama is not satisfied with just decriminalization and ending physical violence against LGBT people. This administration is taking a lead in calling on the world to end economic and social discrimination against us as well:
The Obama administration Tuesday called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world.

"Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love," Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, U.S. ambassador to the council in Geneva, said in a statement. “The U.S. government is firmly committed to supporting the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to lead productive and dignified lives, free from fear and violence.


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