BREAKING: Incredible news, via ThinkProgress:
Recognizing that America’s own record on LGBT equality is “far from perfect,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on nations around the world to recognize that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,” during a speech in Geneva, Switzerland this afternoon. Clinton’s address builds on a memorandum President Obama issued earlier today directing all agencies to “promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”
Clinton also announced that the administration is launching a $3 million global equality fund to support the work of civil society organizations working on these issues around the world. The fund will help human rights groups “record facts so they can target their advocacy, learn how to use the law as a tool, manage their budgets, train their staffs and forge partnerships with women’s organizations and other Human Rights groups,” Clinton said.
(A transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks can be found here.)
Wayne, Evan and I constantly write about the importance of electing LGBT people and allies to political office, and today’s historic speech should put an end to any skepticism about that point. After all, Secretary Clinton is articulating the official policy of the United States of America under a pro-equality administration. There’s absolutely no way she would have delivered a groundbreaking address to the United Nations, exclusively devoted to LGBT rights worldwide, had she not been specifically authorized to do so at the highest level of the executive branch.
Today’s speech should also serve to both galvanize the American LGBT community and throttle us out of any apathy anyone might feel about throwing our enthusiastic support, checkbooks, blood, sweat, and tears into electing pro-equality candidates.
Members of our nation’s LGBT community should make no mistake: apathy at the ballot box, or anything less than a full commitment to providing the maximum amount of support possible — of all kinds, on all fronts, and at all levels — to political leaders who explicitly support LGBT rights inadvertently helps to hand the country over to people who have specifically and repeatedly promised to do everything in their power to make sure advances like this are stopped for as long as possible, by any means possible, regardless of the consequences to millions of LGBT people around the world.