Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
promised Thursday to fight anti-gay hate crimes.
“I promise to continue to fight for a
world in which all people live free from violence and fear,
regardless of who they are or whom they love,” Clinton said.
Clinton made her remarks in a
video message where she congratulates the Gays & Lesbians in
Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), a group that advocates for the
rights of gay men and lesbians working in U.S. foreign affairs
agencies, on winning the Employee Resource Group of the Year Award by
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.
“GLIFAA's effort with this
Administration began when I received a letter signed by 2,200
employees, LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] and
straight, asking that they be treated equally and with the same
respect,” Clinton said.
“With recommendations from GLIFAA, we
were able to quickly change the Department of State's policy and
provide benefits for same-sex partners of Foreign Service officers.
And GLIFAA played a significant role in ensuring that other federal
agencies followed suit. For more than 17 years, GLIFAA members have
demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the global LGBT community,”
Clinton's promise to help thwart
violence against gay men and lesbians globally comes on the same day the
Senate passed a measure to expand hate crimes laws to include
sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The United States supports the UN
Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,
and condemns human rights violations based on sexual orientation and
gender identity wherever they occur.”
“Human rights abuses are crimes
against all of us,” she added in her video message. “We must
condemn violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and
not tolerate men and women being persecuted, singled out, or even
GLIFAA Policy Director Ajit Joshi
thanked Clinton in a statement, saying she was “great,” but
warned that the group's work was far from done.
“[W]e have a long way to go – our
same-sex partners do not have health insurance, pension or
immigration rights. LGBT Marines protecting us overseas cannot be
open about who they are. And, we absolutely and unequivocally must
listen more to the concerns of transgender employees.”