Metro Weekly

Hillary Clinton: Persecution of gays in countries like Iran, Uganda are at top of Human Rights list

“Once rights are established, governments should be expected to resist the temptation to restrict freedom of expression when criticism arises, and to be vigilant in preventing law from becoming an instrument of oppression as bills like the one under consideration in Uganda would do to criminalize homosexuality….

Over this past year, we have elevated into our human rights dialogs and our public statements a very clear message about protecting the rights of the LGBT community worldwide. And we are particularly concerned about some of the specific cases that have come to our attention around the world.

There have been organized efforts to kill and maim gays and lesbians in some countries that we have spoken out about, and also conveyed our very strong concerns about to their governments — not that they were governmentally implemented, or that the government was even aware of them. But that the governments need to pay much more attention to the kinds of abuses that we’ve seen in Iraq, for example.

We are deeply concerned about some of the stories coming out of Iran, in large measure, in reaction, we think, to the response to the elections back in June. There have been abuses committed within the detention facilities and elsewhere that we are deeply concerned about.

And then the example that I used about a piece of legislation in Uganda which would not only criminalize homosexuality but attach the death penalty to it. We have expressed our concerns directly, indirectly, and we will continue to do so. The bill has not gone through the Ugandan legislature but has a lot of public support by various groups including religious leaders in Uganda. And we view it as a very serious potential violation of human rights.

So, it is clear that across the world this is a new frontier in the minds of many people about how we protect the LGBT community. But it is at the top of our list because we see many instances where we see there’s a very serious assault on the physical safety, and an increasing effort to marginalize people. And we think it’s important for the United States to stand against that and enlist others to join us in doing so.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing Georgetown University with a speech in observance of Human Rights Week. Most in the LGBT community would agree that Secretary Clinton is a strong ally for lesbian, gay, bi and trans rights, but remain disappointed by her earlier statements that she supports civil unions same-sex couples, not marriage. Many social conservatives with political and religious agendas have repeatedly used Mrs. Clinton’s marriage stance and that of President Barack Obama as evidence that most American’s do not want legal marriage to include relationship rights for gay men and women. However, former President Bill Clinton fairly recently changed his point of view on the matter, saying he now supports marriage equality, which helps to chip away at their argument that conservatives and liberals both want to keep marriage as male and female only. (Examiner) (See minute 53 in this video)

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