President Obama issues memorandum on protecting LGBTs abroad

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Four days in advance of  Human Rights Day on Saturday, Dec. 10,  President Barack Obama today issued a presidential memorandum “to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons,” according to a statement just released by the White House press office.

The statement sent out by the White House includes these comments by the president:

“The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights.  I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world — whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation.  That is why I declared before heads of state gathered at the United Nations, “no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.”  Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere.  Our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal.”

The memorandum from Obama directs agencies to combat the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad; protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers; leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination; ensure swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad; engage international organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination, and report on progress.

I give the president credit for issuing the memorandum at the same time he’s gearing up for what will likely be a tough re-election campaign during which opponents will no doubt use his stance and actions on LGBT issues against him. But I still have to point out that we as LGBT people still face discrimination and inequality right here in the good old U.S.-of-A:

• Our marriages are legally recognized at the federal level and they aren’t recognized in the VAST majority of state and local jurisdictions. We want the Defense of Marriage Act repealed and local and state ordinances and constitutional amendments prohibiting recognition of our relationships need to be overturned.

• There is still no federal protection against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and/gender expression and gender identity. Congress needs to pass — the president needs to sign — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

• Even though there is now a federal hate crimes law that includes LGBT people, as well as similar laws at many state and local levels, those laws are not well enforced.

Anti-LGBT bullying remains a deadly problem in our schools and our workplaces and on the Internet. We’ve made progress in combating such bullying, but not nearly enough. Dedicate the resources necessary to address the issue effectively.

So let’s applaud our president for the steps he has — and is — taking. There’s no doubt Obama has been more open than any other president about addressing LGBT issues and we have seen great strides forward toward equality during his administration. But there’s a long way to go yet, and we need to make sure that the president — and all our elected officials — know they can’t just rest on their laurels.

—  admin

Do you Peru?

Even as fans rallied to help Coco Peru get her next film off the ground, the drag goddess still likes her comedy live

lead

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Expect a lovefest when Coco Peru comes back to Dallas for Pride weekend. With memories of a responsive audience, shopping and beef jerky during her last go-round here nearly two years ago, the drag goddess is hoping for a repeat performance. Sort of. She’s back on the road with a new show, but that’s not all the legendary queen has going on.

“Well, we’ve filmed Girls Will Be Girls 2 already,” Peru (aka Clinton Leupp) says. “Right now the writer/director is busily editing. It’s just one of those things: You film it and hope for the best.”

Peru has garnered a significant amount of film work over the years, usually with notable cameos in films like as Trick, but occasionally as the star, as with Girls Will Be Girls. But she admits live performance is where she’s at her best.

“I like to think my show is like watching a theater piece,” she says. “I love film acting, but it’s exciting on a whole other level. There’s not that energy of a live audience and no feedback. So often, comic timing is how the audience is reacting to you. With acting, you mentally feel it out, try it and mostly trust the director. I find sometimes I rehearsed a line so much in my head, it takes me a few times to take direction on it.”

For Girls 2, Peru discovered just how much her fans appreciated her work. As a micro-mini indie, the film went on the website Kickstarter to raise funds. As word got out that the film was in production and that Peru was in it, the money rolled in.

“The movie was completely funded by fans,” she exclaims. “It was just incredible that they would want to pay money! And I must say, most of it came from my fans. I’m just putting that out there.”

Along with funds from Kickstarter, the crew itself was almost all-volunteer. People would just show up, willing to help out. It turned into an actual labor of love.

Along with donated help, the production even received a donated green screen. All the generosity reminded Peru that people are that genuinely kind and that it’s all right to ask for things, which usually embarrasses her. She saw this particular filmmaking experience as a good lesson on many levels.

“Let’s just hope the movie’s funny,” she laughs.

Dating back to the “early ‘90s” — that’s as specific as her website will get — Peru gives much credit to her fans along the way for the success of her career. Even if they come up to once again mention her role in the film Trick, Peru takes none of it for granted. Perhaps it’s cliché for any type of celebrity to appreciate their fans, but she  talks at length about how her fans have kept her driven.

“It’s so overwhelming, whether it’s a movie or my own shows, that they will take time to contact me to tell me whatever it is they are feeling,” she says. “I feel lucky and blessed when they reach out to me and I strive to answer every email. I remember those days that felt so lonely and sad. Growing up gay and feeling rejected doesn’t make a happy life. But when you get over 800 birthday messages on Facebook, it’s amazing!”

She’ll meet a new slew of fans on her current End of Summer Tour, as she’ll visit Tampa and Las Vegas for the first time as a performer. Even with her experience onstage, Peru is still daunted by a new audience, the same way she was before playing Dallas the first time early last year.

“The first time, I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect,” she recalls. “I felt that audiences came wanting to have a great time. You go to certain cities and they have a bit of an edge, but in Texas, it was an immediate love fest on both ends.”

In her new show, There Comes a Time, Peru talks about getting older and reminiscing about her life. Fortunately, Dallas isn’t a punch line in her monologue. The city left a good impression on her and she only hopes to make another one of her own.

“Well, I’m happy to be coming back and they took such good care of me last time,” she says, “but I don’t wanna jinx myself. You never know.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Another kind of Chelsea wedding: Secty. Clinton retains cold feet

President Bill Clinton may now be with us on everything including the word “marriage.” But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has yet to complete her own evolution process:

Clointon-Advocate

Well, I share his experience because we obviously share a lot of the same friends, but I have not changed my position.”

-Secretary Clinton, speaking to The Advocate

So it’s pretty much official: Hillary Clinton wants to run for President in 2016.




Good As You

—  admin

Kerry Eleveld interviews Hillary Clinton

The Obama administration floodgates seem to have opened wide, in terms of press availabilities with the gay media.

Feeling your way through an interview with one of the world’s most powerful women is more art than science. Marriage seemed like the place to start, since Clinton had been caught off guard by a recent inquiry on the issue while visiting Australia. Her husband has said that he now supports full marriage equality: Many of his gay friends are in committed relationships, former president Bill Clinton said in 2009. As far as marriage goes, he said, he had just been “hung up about the word.”

Did she share his experience? I wondered. Was she at odds with President Barack Obama’s stated position in support of civil unions but against marriage equality?

But on the phone, Clinton is circumspect about her husband’s comments. “Well, I share his experience because we obviously share a lot of the same friends, but I have not changed my position,” she says without elaborating. The secretary wasn’t taking any political bait, nor was she going to tangle with anything that could figure negatively for her boss.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Limbaugh On DADT repeal: ‘Does this mean Mrs. Clinton can finally … join the Marines?’




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Has Hillary Clinton Evolved on Marriage Equality Like Her Husband?

Clinton

I posted a humorous interview last week of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her trip to Australia. Another interview she did took a more serious turn.

The marriage equality debate in Australia is really heating up at the moment. One young Australian asked her where she stands on the issue during a youth town hall.

Her answer, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

The Lighter Side Of Hillary Clinton

We don’t often get to see Secretary Clinton in anything other than the most somber circumstances, so this chat she had with a couple of Australian comedians is quite fun. This clip closes with some news anchors wishing out loud that Clinton would emigrate.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Watch: Hillary Clinton Records Message for Bullied Gay Teens

Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has added her voice to the "It Gets Better" campaign, recording a message of hope for LGBT teens who have been bullied.

Says Clinton: "Take heart. And have hope. And please remember that your life is valuable, and that you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers, and their strength. Count me among them."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Colin Powell: I did not misrepresent DADT implementation to President Clinton

Notice how many people who were part of the DADT implementation era are trying to back off their role in the discriminatory policy? Now there’s a mini-spat between Colin Powell and President Clinton that, quite frankly is irrelevant because neither has put themselves out there to pressure Congress or this WH to be more aggressive regarding repeal. (CBS)

Mr. Clinton said in an interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, “Now, when Colin Powell sold me on don’t ask, don’t tell, here’s what he said it would be. Gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades as long as they weren’t in uniform.”

“That was what they were promised,” the former president said. “That’s a very different don’t ask, don’t tell than we got.”

Powell’s statement says Mr. Clinton “is incorrect in saying I misrepresented to him how the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law of 1993 would be implemented by the military.” Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Mr. Clinton was working out his position on the policy.

“In any event, that is beside the point,” the former general continued. “I retired a few months after the law was passed. President Clinton was commander-in-chief for the next seven years and he and his military leaders were responsible for the procedures implementing the law and the policy.”

But it is interesting to see this play out as time runs out for anything to be done in 2010.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Clearly There Is Major Sexual Tension Between Bill Clinton + Rachel Maddow

But she’s sanctimonious and intolerant of anyone who disagrees with her. So, if it’s Bill Clinton, she calls him a Republican because he doesn’t meet Rachel Maddow’s test. So, the worst element of our party are people who call themselves liberal who are actually illiberal because they are intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them.

—Lanny Davis, former counsel to Bill Clinton, getting back at Rachel Maddow for her six-month-old comments calling Bill Clinton the "best Republican president the country has ever produced." The timing is perfect, since Clinton just got done saying, about Republicans, "A lot of their candidates today, they make [President George W. Bush] look like a liberal." Oh, and this:

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright