The United States Takes International Stand on Gay Rights

hillary clintonThe path to peace is inextricably tied to our commitment to social justice. As long as one group finds it expeditious to devalue another, crimes against humanity will persist. Yesterday, the Obama administration took another positive step in peacebuilding when they announced that the United States would use all the tools of American diplomacy to promote gay rights around the world. In an announcement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stated, “Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct, but in fact they are one and the same.”

As Uganda reopens its debate to make homosexuality punishable by death, and US ally Saudi Arabia continues to punish same sex acts with flogging, the Obama administration announcement leaves no doubt of the United States’ stand on the issue.  Making this point, Clinton stated that gay rights transcends national, political and even cultural boundaries. They are universal rights akin to those acknowledged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by 48 nations in the aftermath of World War II. Putting their money where there mouth is, the administration then announced a $3 million program to finance gay rights organizations to combat discrimination.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry reacted to the announcement by saying that “President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.” Contrary to principles of peacebuilding, this statement alludes to a world where we can stop short of acting on the hate we hold dear to our heart. The reality of human nature is that whenever a group of people bond with one another over the devaluing of another group, it is only a matter of time before hate turns to violence.

For a comprehensive New York Times article on this topic:

by William Repicci

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *