National Security Adviser Susan Rice: Protecting Gays Is Most Challenging Global Human Rights Issue
The protection of the global LGBT community is not only a primary concern for the Obama administration, but the singular "most challenging international human rights issue facing the United States" according to White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Tuesday.
Rice told a White House forum of gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and financial aid promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world. She urged religious, human rights and HIV health care advocates to form a united front to halt global discrimination against the LGBT community.
"To achieve lasting global change, we need everyone's shoulder at the wheel," she said. "With more voices to enrich and amplify the message — that gay rights are straight-up human rights — we can open more minds."
Rice cautioned that the effort is difficult because laws limiting gay rights in some countries enjoy strong popular support. But she said cultural differences do not excuse human rights violations.
"Governments are responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens, and it is incumbent on the state, and on each of us, to foster tolerance and reverse the tide of discrimination," Rice said.
"The United States government will continue to beat back barriers and speak out on behalf of rights for people the world over. We do this both because it's our moral obligation, and because it's in our interests," Rice said. "Nations that protect human rights are more stable, peaceful and prosperous partners for the United States."
What do you think of Rice's comments and the administration's efforts, Instincters?