- June 20, 2014
Yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the State Department’s "Pride at State" event. The event was hosted by Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFFA), USAID and the foreign affairs agencies.
Secretary Kerry was introduced by Robyn Ann Jane Alice McCutcheon, the first openly transgender Foreign Service officer.
In his speech, Secretary Kerry called out countries that have become infamous for their crimes and discriminatory acts against LGBT people. “Now I know that all of us right now are more than aware of – we can palpably feel the wave of new, growing – the trend if you will, in some places for anti-LGBT laws that are metastasizing in various places,” Kerry said. “From Uganda to Russia to Iran, LGBT communities face discriminatory laws and practices that attack dignity, undermine safety, and violate human rights. And we each have a responsibility to push back against a global trend of rising violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.”
As Secretary of State, John Kerry has spoken out against homophobic practices in Uganda and Russia. Under his leadership the State Department now considers visa applications from legally married same-sex couples in the same manner as opposite-sex couples. Through his actions it has become clear that Kerry firmly believes that, “LGBT rights are human rights, and human rights are LGBT rights.”
There are millions of LGBT people around the world who are gaining visibility and fighting for their rights but living in fear and isolation – and under the rule of governments that criminalize their very identities. HRC’s Global program aims to strengthen the global equality movement though public education, advocacy, fellowships, partnerships, and research. For more information on HRC’s international work, click here.