Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Hillary Clinton to the World: “Gay Rights are Human Rights”

Graphic from beingliberal.org on Facebook

Geneva, Switzerland – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared to the leaders of the world that LGBT rights must be a priority for the world community.  As reported by the BBC, Secretary Clinton said in a speech to international diplomats at the Palais des Nations on International Human Rights Day, “Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality.” In a powerful declaration of the full humanity of LGBT people, she refused to excuse discrimination against gay people because of religious beliefs or social mores: “Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority,” Clinton said to the U.N. audience, “being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Clinton reflects the policy power of the United States government, making it clear that, despite difficulties with allies who discriminate willfully against LGBT people, the Obama Administration will combat discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people using foreign aid and diplomacy to promote change.

On violence against queer people around the world, Secretary Clinton acknowledged that there was still much to be done at home in the United States, where LGBT people were unindicted felons in 14 states as late as 2003 (when the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling struck down sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas), and many face attacks and all manner of bullying even today.  Still, Clinton argued, “It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives.”  The effect of these words on the continuing physical violence against LGBT people in the U.S. and throughout the world remains to be seen, but the results could be inestimable, according to Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle. “Today, Secretary Clinton served notice on all who perpetrate violence to terrorize LGBTQ people anywhere in the world that harm against this marginalized population will not be tolerated by civilized people. Cloaking anti-LGBT bigotry in religious or moral special rights is coming to a close,” Sprinkle, an ordained gay Baptist minister, said. “We are reaching the tipping point in the culture wars in this country, and the scales are falling in favor of security and justice for members of the gender variant and sexual minority. United States foreign and domestic policy has entered into a new era of advocacy for LGBTQ people on a par with racial/ethnic minority people, religious minorities, and women.”

Known for her advocacy for women and children, this speech indicates that the rights of LGBT people, always part of Mrs. Clinton’s public agenda, now has moved to a front-and-center priority for the most prominent woman in American politics. The speech was sweeping in scope, announcing that, in words redolent of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, gay rights are “inalienable.”

‎In the moving conclusion to her remarks, Secretary Clinton spoke directly to all gay people who find themselves persecuted and in fear of harm (and, by indirection, to their persecutors, as well): “And finally, to LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this: Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America and you have millions of friends among the American people.” 

The full text of Secretary Clinton’s speech may be found on the State Department website by clicking here.  A link to the full text of the speech, and video of Secretary Clinton delivering it, may be accessed on Huffington Post here.

December 7, 2011 - Posted by | Bisexual persons, Bullying in schools, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Hillary Clinton, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Politics, President Barack Obama, religious intolerance, Sexual assault, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, U.S. State Department, U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. The problem with Gay liberation is, that after the legalisation of GLBT contacts, that the fury of the fascists then decend on adults who have intimacy with adolecents. Due to an artificial and false “age of concent” this is exploited to express in the same manner or more as is meeted out against the gays presently. Young people are sexual beeings too, also in need of love and intimacy. If there is going to be an age of consent it should be 12 years with the age between 12 and 16 where the young person has the right to within one year to lay a complaint of sexual assault if they feel that they have been abused instead of being loved. Freedom for all.

    Comment by Gerald Moonen | December 7, 2011

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