Presidential memorandum gives landmark roadmap to deal with LGBT human rights abuses
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today applauded the Obama administration’s commitment to LGBT equality around the globe as evidenced by a presidential memorandum outlining a robust strategy to deal with human rights abuses of LGBT people. Additionally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to address the issue this afternoon in Geneva as she delivers a speech in recognition of Human Rights Day celebrated on December 10.
“The Obama Administration has made a tremendous difference in the lives of LGBT people in the United States and this new strategy helps to extend that presidential leadership across the globe,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese who met with Secretary Clinton earlier today in Geneva. “There is no question that the administration’s record of advancing equality for LGBT people has been enhanced by the leadership of Secretary Clinton who consistently underscores the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights.”
The presidential memorandum is the first ever U.S. government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against LGBT people abroad. It directs all government agencies that engage in foreign affairs to promote LGBT human rights globally – including decriminalization of LGBT people and humane treatment of LGBT refugees and those seeking asylum, among other things.
“As Americans, we understand that no one should be made a criminal or subject to violence or even death because of who they are, no matter where they live,” said Solmonese. “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.”
In addition to meeting with Secretary Clinton, earlier today Solmonese met with LGBT rights and human rights leaders from across the globe including Alice Nkom, one of Cameroon’s only LGBT rights advocates. In her home country Nkom has been has threatened with arrest numerous times because of her ongoing work in defense of LGBT Cameroonians.
“Hearing the stories of international LGBT leaders like Alice Nkom from Cameroon has been inspiring,” said Solmonese. “Their day-to-day work advancing LGBT human rights illustrates even more that our nation has a duty speak up for LGBT people around the world.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.