President Obama today issued a memorandum “directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”
Among the steps required by the memorandum are efforts to fight the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct, as well as to support the protection of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
Obama’s memorandum requires the Department of State to “lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBT persons abroad.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke today in Geneva about the issue. The State Department details that Clinton’s address is a part of Human Rights Day, which it notes “recognizes the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.
The Declaration outlines the inalienable rights of all people and has since served as the benchmark for the extension and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”