U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today that the Obama Administration is embarking on a global effort to use US foreign aid in order to promote the human rights of gays and lesbians around the world, according to CBS News.
During her address to the United Nations’ human rights body in Geneva, Clinton equated gay rights to women's rights and racial equality, pointing out that they are all universal human rights. She broadly criticized nations that criminalize homosexuality and tolerate abuse of gay, bisexual or transgendered people.
Obama issued a memo on Tuesday directing all U.S. agencies (including the Departments of States, Treasury, Defense and Homeland Security) working abroad to use foreign aid to assist gays and lesbians who are facing human rights violations. His order also is meant to protect vulnerable gay and lesbian refugees and asylum seekers.
"The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States' commitment to promoting human rights," Obama said in his statement.
Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign also issued a statement today saying that, "today's actions by President Obama make clear that the United States will not turn a blind eye when governments commit or allow abuses to the human rights of LGBT people."