WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - President Obama on Tuesday promised to revamp America’s international presence in favor of the gay rights agenda, pledging that U.S. officials would be trained to specially assist gay persons, and would combat foreign communities’ “intolerance” by helping normalize gay orientation and sexual activity, among other changes.
In a memorandum on “International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons,” Obama said the effort to “end discrimination” against homosexuals is “central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights.”
“Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere,” stated Obama. “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 first directive called on embassy officials “to strengthen existing efforts to effectively combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBT status or conduct” and to expand efforts to combat “discrimination, homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct.”
Obama also said the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security would “ensure appropriate training is in place” for federal government employees to provide special accommodation for gay and lesbian individuals seeking expedited resettlement.
In addition, Obama notes that the government will work to raise the profile of gay rights activists in international groups, through efforts such as lobbying government representatives and promoting gay rights activists in various forums. The document calls for all U.S. agencies abroad to prepare a report each year to detail progress implementing the gay rights changes.
These include the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export Import Bank, the United States Trade Representative, and “such other agencies as the President may designate.”
A White House fact sheet accompanying the document points out that the administration has worked to “protect and promote the rights of LBGT persons around the world” ever since Obama took office.
Obama, whose relationship with the gay rights movement in America has often been touch-and-go, pledged his support to the cause before a U.N. General Assembly in September. “No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also 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,” he said.