Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sec. Clinton Condemns Homophobia and Transphobia

As part of today's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (more commonly referred to as IDAHO), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a statement on behalf of the Obama administration to "reaffirm our support for LGBT communities at home and abroad, and to call for an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs."

It is always nice to see the administration openly supporting LGBT rights.  However, the fact remains that, even as we condemn homophobia abroad (from a distance, one must note), there are still many inequalities faced by LGBT people right here in the United States.  LGBT couples are forced apart by discriminatory immigration laws, LGBT still cannot serve in the military (and even after "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed, transgender people will still be barred from open service), and there is no federal law prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBT people.

As Secretary Clinton says, "let us resolve to redouble our efforts."  There is a lot of work to be done, both at home and abroad, to ensure that LGBT people are treated fairly and equally.  We cannot wait for someone else to come along and do that work for us: we must answer the call ourselves and work every day for equality around the world.

Read the full statement below:

In every part of the world, men and women are persecuted and attacked because of who they are or whom they love. Homophobia, transphobia and the brutal hostility associated with them are often rooted in a lack of understanding of what it actually means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). So to combat this terrible scourge and break the cycle of fear and violence, we must work together to improve education and support those who stand up against laws that criminalize love and promote hate. As we mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia this May 17, let us resolve to redouble our efforts.

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am proud to reaffirm our support for LGBT communities at home and abroad, and to call for an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs. Whether by supporting LGBT advocates marching in Belgrade, leading the effort at the United Nations to affirm the human rights of LGBT persons, or condemning a vile law under consideration in Uganda, we are committed to our friends and allies in every region of the world who are fighting for equality and justice. These are not Western concepts; these are universal human rights.

Despite these gains and hard work, there is more to do to turn the tide of inequality and discrimination against the LGBT community. If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, know that the United States stands with you and we are unwavering in our commitment to ending this cycle of hate.

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