HRC Blog

Clinton Receives Equality Award at State Department’s Pride Celebration

 The following post comes from HRC Youth & Campus Outreach intern Patrick Boston:

Last month, GLIFAA (Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies) held a panel discussion “Overview of the Status of LGBT People Worldwide” to wrap up the end of Pride month. At the event, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received GLIFAA’s Equality Award for her contributions to advancing equality.

Throughout the forum, Secretary Clinton’s words “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights” resonated as each panelist celebrated the accomplishments of the past year. With the recent passing of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution endorsing gay rights and New York marriage equality there is definitely reason to celebrate.

GLIFAA President Jon Tollefson introduced Secretary Clinton and presented her with the GLIFAA Equality Award. He also listed the many contributions she has made to the LGBT community. Clinton has:

  • Officially recognized LGBT families within State Department with equal access to employment, training and benefit opportunities.
  • Included Gender Identity in Equal Employment Opportunity statement.
  • Made it easier for passports to accurately reflect one’s identified gender.

At the event, Secretary Clinton called for continued activism and to remember the struggles of LGBT populations living under much worse conditions:

“But please don’t forget that for every proud moment we can share together, there are so many around the world who live in fear, who live in shame, who live in such difficult circumstances. And our work must continue until they have the same opportunity that all of you and so many other Americans have, which is to be recognized for who you are and to be given the respect that you so richly deserve.”

I was honored to be present for Secretary Clinton’s speech, which was a wonderful way to observe the end of a historic month for both domestic and international LGBT rights. As an International Studies major, I appreciated the emphasis on having a global perspective on LGBT issues while working to advance them at home.

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