Secretary of State John Kerry on
Thursday discussed release of his agency's 38th annual Country Report
on Human Rights Practices for 2013.
Syria and LGBT issues were among the
low points the secretary highlighted in speaking to reporters.
“We know that countries that deny
human rights and human dignity challenge our interests as well as
human interests,” Kerry said.
“In Syria, hundreds were murdered in
the dead of night when a disaster occurred at the hands of a dictator
who decided to infect the air of Damascus with poisonous gas, and
many more have been, unfortunately, confined to die under a barrage
of barrel bombs, Scud missiles, artillery, and other conventional
“And from Nigeria to Russia to Iran,
indeed in some 80 countries the world over, LGBT communities face
discriminatory laws and practices that attack their basic human
dignity and undermine their safety. We are seeing new laws like the
Anti-Homosexuality Bill enacted by Uganda and signed into law by
President Museveni earlier this week, which not only makes criminals
of people for who they are, but punishes those who defend the human
rights that are our universal birthright.”
“These laws contribute to a global
trend of rising violence and discrimination against LGBT persons and
their supporters, and they are an affront to every reasonable
conscience, and the United States will continue to stand with our
LGBT brothers and sisters as we stand up for freedom, for justice,
for equal rights for all people around the world,” Kerry added.