WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama issued a memo to the heads of his Executive Departments and Agencies to advance human rights and safety of LGBT people abroad.
Obama’s memo said:
“The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights. I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world – whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation.
That is why I declared before heads of state gathered at the United Nations, “no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.” Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere. Our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal.”
GOP presidential contenders Rick Santorum and Rick Perry have condemned Obama’s memo.
Rick Perry has issued a statement attacking the Obama administration over the memorandum issued earlier today directing the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies abroad to advance the human rights of and ensure the safety of LGBT people.
Perry said in a written statement: “Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn’t get any more out of touch with America’s values, AP reports his administration wants to make foreign aid decisions based on gay rights. This administration’s war on traditional American values must stop. President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.”
In recognition of Human Rights Day, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will delivered a human rights policy speech on Tuesday, December 6, hosted by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.