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

Cindy Jacobs: God Is Killing All Those Birds Because Of The Repeal Of DADT


(Via – Right Wing Watch)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Video: War involves killing and being killed — yet it’s the *while gay* part that concerns God?!



“The Gaying of America” [AFA]

Such priorities.

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*One more from AFA Radio’s esteemed annals: Tony Perkins says the anti-LGBT Manhattan Declaration is nothing more than reinforcement of the Declaration of Independence’s preamble:

*SEE ALSO: Our post on the Manhattan Declaration app (which set off the chain of subsequent events concerning the app’s iTunes placement): Is that the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration in your pocket or are you just happy to see me (treated like a leper)? [G-A-Y]




Good As You

—  admin

Killing Toni, The Movie Where A Straight Guy Kills His Ex-Girlfriend For Being Gay

Thought Ticked Off Trannies With Knives was offensive to you queers? Then you haven't yet heard of Killing Toni, the made-for-0 indie flick about a straight guy who gets some friends together to kill his ex-girlfriend after finding out she's a lesbian.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

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Most Of America Believes 2,000-Year-Old Man Hanging On a Cross Is To Blame For Gay Kids Killing Themselves

Who's ready for some fun statistics-backed blame gaming! A survey conducted last week reveals some 65 percent of Americans believe organized religion is connected to higher rates of suicide among LGBT youth, while 72 percent say religious institutions are behind "negative viewers" of queers. Nearly a third of Catholics (more than twice as any other religious denomination) would give their own church's handling of homosexuality a D or F. And while four in ten respondents say all places of worship would receive a D or F grade, roughly the same number would their own temples an A or B rating. (Read: Everybody's views are skewed.) But in the middle of religious institutions being attacked, at least Christians and Jews — who disagree on some of the most basic tenants of life, creation, and the lord — are coming together on something: Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the U.S. Military and Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America both agree that repealing Don't Ask Don't tell could totally harsh on their shared belief that homosexuality is disgusting.


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Queerty

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Gay Bishop: Religion Is Killing Teens

V GENE ROBINSON X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMGene Robinson, the gay bishop of the New Hampshire diocese in the Episcopal Church, writes in The Huffington Post that antigay religious leaders are responsible for bullied gay teens taking their lives.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

If Jarrett cares about LGBT kids killing themselves, her boss should stop saying gays aren’t equal

Here’s an excerpt of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett’s remarks tonight at the HRC annual “No Excuses” dinner.

I cry bullshit. From Politico:

–From Jarrett’s prepared remarks: “Recently, we’ve all been shocked and heartbroken by the deaths of several young people who had been harassed and bullied for being openly gay – or because people thought they were gay. It’s a terrible tragedy. And it has turned a harsh spotlight onto an issue that often doesn’t get the public attention it deserves: the struggles of LGBT youth, the enormous pain that too many experience as a result of bullying, and the desperate, tragic decision by some young people who feel that their only recourse is to take their own lives. …

“No young person should have to endure a life of relentless taunts and harassment, just because they’re gay. On behalf of President Obama, I want to make clear that this administration is firmly committed to working with you and other advocates. For we all have to ensure that we are creating an environment in our schools, our communities, and our country, that is safe for every person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

If you care so much about gay kids being bullied and committing suicide, then start being our fierce advocate. Stop defending DADT and DOMA in court. Stop the DADT discharges now. Start doing something, anything, on getting ENDA passed and DOMA repealed, like you promised. And, if the President isn’t too busy calling more female basketball stars, maybe he could be bothered to make even one phone call to even one Senator on DADT repeal.

Oh yeah, and the next time you claim to be shocked and saddened by all these gay kids killing themselves, ask yourself what message you’re sending when you tell those same kids that they don’t deserve to be married, they don’t deserve to love and be loved, because God wouldn’t like it. (Of course, Barack Obama was for marriage equality before he decided to be President, but then again, he was for a lot of things before he became President.)

Words, words, words, Valerie. We’ve heard it before. And we’re over it. Words mean nothing from this President. When you and your boss finally decide to actually support full equality, when you decide to actually become our fierce advocate on DADT, DOMA and ENDA, then get back to us.  Our kids are killing themselves.  And you’ve got more important things to worry about.  Come 2012, so will we.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Signorile has had it with the religious-types who are killing our kids with their messages of hate

Watch this video of Mike Signorile’s conversation with a right-wing Christian caller from the show yesterday. I think Mike captures the anger in the LGBT community. And, I don’t think a lot of people outside the LGBT community and our close allies understand just how pissed off people are. The haters are killing our kids. And, our elected leaders are telling the world that we’re not equal. From Mike’s blog post:

The hate coming from the pulpits of most faiths cannot be denied as a factor in these suicides, and in gay-bashings. But many Christians don’t want to believe that, even as they condemn homosexuality. One of them, James from Louisiana, called in yesterday. I was definitely not in the mood to put up with any crap!

I think Mike is speaking for a lot of us here:




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright