President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton used Clinton’s visit to Belarus and an appearance in Geneva to emphasis the need for countries to respect the rights of women, gays, and human rights in general. President Obama instructed US officials to indicate that US support and aid depends on tolerance and recognition of the rights of GLBT citizens.
In the first ever US government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens abroad, a presidential memo issued on Tuesday instructs agencies using foreign aid to promote such rights.
Gay and lesbian lobby groups have reported an increase in human rights abuses across Africa and parts of the Middle East.
President Obama is among international leaders who have condemned a bill proposed in Uganda which would make some homosexual acts a crime punishable by death. The Ugandan parliament has recently re-opened the debate on the bill, which had been abandoned after an international outcry.
In the memo, Obama said: “I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world, whether it is passing laws that criminalise LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women and children for their perceived sexual orientation.”
He said that the struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons was central to America’s commitment to promoting human rights.
Clinton’s speech was characterized as containing “unusually strong language” to an audience of diplomats from nations where being gay is crime. These included nations in the African continent and in the Arab world.
In unusually strong language, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton compared the struggle for gay equality to difficult passages toward women’s rights and racial equality, and she said a country’s cultural or religious traditions are no excuse for discrimination.
“Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” she said.
Clinton’s audience included diplomats from Arab, African and other nations where homosexuality is criminalized or where brutality and discrimination against gay people is tolerated or encouraged.
She said nothing about consequences or penalties the U.S. might apply to nations it judges poor protectors of gay rights, but she spoke shortly after President Barack Obama directed the State Department and other agencies to make sure U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote gay rights.
Clinton named no countries with specifically poor records on gay rights, although the U.S. has already pointed to abuses against gays by such friends as Saudi Arabia.
“It should never be a crime to be gay,” Clinton declared.
Clinton also introduced a Global Equality Fund that will partner with women’s and other groups trying to achieve human equality around the globe.
I am also pleased to announce that we are launching a new Global Equlity Fund that will support the work of civil society organizations working on these issues around the world. This fund will help them 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. We have committed more than $3 million to start this fund, and we have hope that others will join us in supporting it.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Jane Levikow went to the Contemporary Jewish Museum Sunday afternoon to look at art. She ended up with a refresher course in San Francisco civil rights.
Levikow was in the gallery with her partner when she noticed a young lesbian couple in heated conversation with a security guard.
“They were holding hands,” Levikow said, “and he told them they couldn’t hold hands in the museum.”
The couple argued with the guard and people began to gather around to see what was happening. The guard then tried to escort the couple out, but they refused to leave and demanded to talk to museum officials.
Daryl Carr, museum spokesman, says museum officials are active in supporting the LBGT community and that they have asked that the guard, who works for a private security company, be reprimanded.
Ironically, when the guard accosted them, the couple were viewing an exhibit about the life of Gertrude Stein, who was also a lesbian.
GOP Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann and her potential “first dude” Marcus Bachmann have been campaigning together since her recent announcement that she is running for President. At a rally on June 28, in Myrtle Beach, NC, Michele gave a rousing stump speech and then the happy couple danced together onstage to the strains of “Wabash Cannonball”
In 2010, Marcus Bachmann explained to a “christian” radio host that homosexuals are “barbarians” who “need to be educated.” Now that the Bachmanns are in the spotlight, their attitudes about homosexuals are beginning to be noted by the corporate media.
After Cher saw the above MSNBC segment, she tweeted the following to her followers:
“Just heard Michele Bachmann’s OH SO CHRISTIAN husband talk about ‘Gays’ in the most UNCHRISTIAN way WTF!”
“But Boys please utube this asshole & tell me what u think … Cause My Gay-Dar is GOING OFF!!!”
More of her tweets are posted at the above link.
Here’s another radio interview of Marcus discussing his advice to his daughter about choosing her prom dress and how that process relates to identity.
These two are just a bundle of contradictions. Now check this out:
After a long hard day of wingnutting, what does the family of crazy-eyed Minnesota congresswoman Michele do to kick back? Well, of course, they watch Glee! Are the anti-gay Michele Bachmann and her “Christian counselor” husband Marcus hypocrites, stupid or all of these things?
Justin Bieber disappointed U.S. representative and potential presidential candidate Michele Bachmann at last night’s Time 100 by not showing up — she’d brought copies of his book to sign for one of her older sons, who is a special-ed teacher. But she did delight her other, younger children (she’s taken care of 23 foster kids over the years) by meeting another popular teen icon and singer. At the event last night, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Bachmann and her husband posed with Glee star Darren Criss and e-mailed the pictures to their children. “We looked for Chris Colfer,” she said, but they didn’t find him. “We don’t watch TV, generally speaking. But the kids were thrilled. What kids don’t watch Glee?” Well, maybe the children of potential presidential candidates who think God sent them to stop gay people from having equal rights? Maybe Bachmann doesn’t know that the main message of the popular teen hit is tolerance, respect, and equal treatment — particularly for gay people. She doesn’t watch TV, after all.
My head is spinning!
NOTE: Videos taken from Youtube orginally posted by the Dump Bachman blog, and indispensible source for information on Michele and Marcus Bachmann.