Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thank you, Mr President

Yesterday, something amazing happened.

The Secretary of State gave a long, powerful speech supporting the rights of gay people around the world.

From the LA TImes:
In a speech to mark Human Rights Day, which is celebrated Saturday, 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.
(Video and transcript here). Along with this, the Obama Administration has released a memo detailing its efforts.

Now, as you know I'm an advocate for marriage equality.

But this, like many of our issues here in the US are "luxury" issues.  Gay people in many parts of the world don't have the luxury of marriage, or serving in the military. They are lacking even fundamental rights like life and liberty.  Gay people in many places, particularly but not exclusively Africa,  are at risk of violence, imprisonment, and even death simply for being who they are.

There are people here who advocate the same thing. They pop up in the comment threads of articles on line, they write hateful things on the pages of NOM's facebook, they buy NOM"s lies.  But they aren't the majority.  So they export their hate, and fan the flames in Uganda and Nigeria.

But now, the US is saying with the weight of officialdom, "Being gay is NOT a crime." Well done.

Update:  Rick Perry, presidential wanna-be, complains:  "Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money."

Andrew Sullivan fires back: "Not getting murdered is NOT a special right."

1 comment:

dr.primrose said...

L.A. Times story on the Prop. 8 case oral argument in the Ninth Circuit today - Appeals court asked to decide if gay judge could be fair on Prop. 8 case. It sounds as if it went pretty well for our side. "Three federal appellate judges appeared deeply skeptical Thursday of claims by backers of Proposition 8 that the judge who found the ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional should have recused himself because he is gay and might benefit from his own ruling."

Even the Republican-appointed judge didn't think a lot of the arguments of the Prop. 8 proponents: "Judge N. Randy Smith, named to the appeals court by President George W. Bush, challenged the Prop. 8 backers with mocking questions about whether a married judge could handle a divorce case. He drew laughter in the San Francisco courtroom when he asked whether a judge in a divorce matter would have to disclose whether his own relationship was rocky at times."