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US applauded for powerful stance on glbt rights

Tue 13 Dec 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News

The US stand on gay rights across the globe is being applauded by Rainbow Wellington, which has written to the gay US Ambassador David Huebner to express its appreciation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week publicly declared the US will fight discrimination against gay a and lesbian people all over the world by using foreign aid and diplomacy to encourage reform. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience of diplomats in Geneva: "Gay rights are human rights". A memo from the Obama administration directs US government agencies to consider gay rights when making aid and asylum decisions. Similar policies already exist for gender equality. It comes after UK Prime Minister David Cameron's suggestion in October that aid could be cut to countries that did not recognise gay rights. Rainbow Wellington Chair Tony Simpson has written to Huebner, saying Clinton's choice of International Human Rights Day to give a major speech on the same issue at the UN in Geneva underlined the Administration’s intentions in a very clear and public manner. "Whilst we are aware that these initiatives largely spell out what has already been happening, these developments are very significant ones for the rights of lgbti people across the world," Simpson writes. "We are pleased that the United States is now so clearly joining other countries such as the UK, Australia and Canada in the United Nations and other international fora, to clearly state that our rights are human rights, and that we are not, as some still wish to claim, excluded from the 1948 Universal Declaration. "Please pass on Rainbow Wellington's appreciation and congratulations to President Obama and Secretary Clinton on behalf of our lgbti communities in Wellington and New Zealand." The email was copied to Murray McCully, who has retained his role as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new government. McCully was notably silent when other nations took a stand at the CHOGM meeting in Perth in October.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 13th December 2011 - 7:03am

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