Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said
Tuesday that gay rights are human rights and pledged to defend those
rights at home and abroad.
“Just as I was very proud to say the
obvious more than 15 years ago in Beijing that human rights are
women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, well, let me
say today that human rights are
gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all.”
standing-room-only event was co-hosted by the State Department's
Office of Civil Rights and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs
Agencies (GLIFAA), a group that represents the agency's LGBT members.
reminded the crowd that discrimination and prejudice against gay men,
lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people persists.
about what's happening to people as we speak today. Men and women
are harassed, beaten, subjected to sexual violence, even killed,
because of who they are and whom they love.”
some places, violence against the LGBT community is permitted by law
and inflamed by public calls to violence; in others, it persists
insidiously behind closed doors.”
dangers are not 'gay' issues. This is a human rights issue,” she
said to loud cheers.
also took the opportunity to highlight some of the gay rights
initiatives advanced in the Obama administration, the State
Department in particular, and announced that for the first time
gender identity will join sexual orientation in the agency's equal
work is demanding and we need every person to give 100 percent,”
she said. “And that means creating an environment in which
everyone knows they are valued and feels free to make their
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also
will host a gay pride celebration Tuesday evening at the White House.