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8 Dec 2011

Hillary Clinton at UN: ''Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights''

In a speech to mark Human Rights Day, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calls protecting rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people 'one of the remaining human rights challenges.'

In a speech to mark Human Rights Day, which is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that protecting the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people is "now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time" and compared it to the battles for women's rights, racial equality and religious freedom. 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Speaking at the United Nations' human rights body in Geneva, she noted that obstacles to gender equality in much of the world "rest on deeply held personal, political, cultural and religious beliefs."

"Some seem to believe it is a Western phenomenon, and therefore people outside the West have grounds to reject it," Clinton said. "Well, in reality, gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world."

She challenged other governments to join U.S. efforts after President Obama directed U.S. agencies working overseas to help combat the criminalisation of sexual orientation and to enhance efforts to protect gay and lesbian refugees and asylum seekers.

The transcript of the speech can be found here.


Reader's Comments

1. 2011-12-08 21:17  
“In our hearts and in our laws, we must treat all our people with fairness and dignity, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. . . .” - Bill Clinton quotes

Fairness puts the twinkle in the stars.

So inspired and hopeful now..
Comment edited on 2011-12-08 21:55:26
2. 2011-12-09 13:25  
It is nice that she has this speech, but we still lack equality here in the USA.
3. 2011-12-09 13:29  
I respect this woman for her bright and powerful words aimed to protect us.
4. 2011-12-09 17:39  
''Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights'' - finally someone says like it is! Singapore government, take note: No gay rights ....no human rights!
Comment #5 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-09 22:43
Comment #6 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-09 22:52
7. 2011-12-09 22:54  
For this, I respect her even if I find her a discriminating bitch politically and diplomatically. Hillary can be a darling to the gays and yes, a steel butterfly like her is needed to inspire and lead the quest.
8. 2011-12-10 04:03  
I am proud that she, the Obama Administration, made this courageous statement. Of course, the Obama Admin has been slow and lacking pace on this issue but the heart is in the right place. As for the US State Department, gay and lesbian rights have been fully recognized for about ten years, including spouse rights of gay partners.

One joke a few years ago...(maybe true) was that the Clintons had more gay friends than straight friends.

9. 2011-12-10 04:18  
Inspirational speech and spoken from her heart. and I like that she included other marginalized groups as well.
10. 2011-12-10 07:22  
Finally, now let the world stand up and take note.

Lets have Obama, say the same speech..
11. 2011-12-10 12:22  
I posted this on twitter and facebook and immediately I get a response from a friend that this is not right (she is a muslim). She regards me as a friend but do not think there is such a thing as born gay. I respected that but of course do not agree.

I still think religion is the one reason that this is a tough battle for all of us, and those who believe in gay/human rights. I am really glad that as a buddhist, I am accepted as a gay.
12. 2011-12-11 22:17  
Amazing speech - the organization of her thoughts, the clarity of the exposition and the choices of words are superlative. I salute her mind.

I'm so glad someone of her stature has finally articulated the issues so coherently. While there is definitely a long journey ahead, i am, today, hopeful that the declaration of rights for all LGBT will come to fruition within a decade.

13. 2011-12-12 16:15  
I always respect Hilary! Now she is my role model and most liked person.

Thank You madman Hilary.
14. 2011-12-12 19:25  
I wish we had Australian politicians who were as lucid and displayed such leadership as Ms Clinton

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