June 1st, 2009
06:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton pledges to fight for gay rights worldwide

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Monday to fight for gay rights and called on the world to stop discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation.

"As secretary of state, I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity," Clinton said in a written statement.

President Barack Obama has proclaimed June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

Clinton's statement marked the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, often considered the launch of the U.S. gay rights movement.

"The example set by those fighting for equal rights in the United States gives hope to men and women around the world who yearn for a better future for themselves and their loved ones," Clinton said.

She acknowledged that gays and lesbians still have a long way to go to achieve equality in the United States, but noted homosexuals in some parts of the world live in constant fear of violence or arrest.

"The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end," Clinton said.

The Obama administration broke with that of George W. Bush to support a United Nations resolution calling for decriminalization of homosexuality, which is currently punishable by death in seven countries.

In addition, Clinton aides last month said the secretary of state soon will extend to same-sex partners of homosexual diplomats benefits equal to those that partners of their heterosexual colleagues receive.

In her statement Monday, Clinton saluted the service of "our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in Washington and around the world."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. The Broker.

    I have one thing to say! I love to listen to CNN, and how they twist every comment of past leaders. How can we make these comments work for our everyday. Production.. You must work real hard. But you can't kid a kidder. ...

    June 1, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. Zach K

    Gay Rights are Human Rights. Homosexuality is a self-born right not a sinful crime.

    June 1, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. change

    I think that individuals should leave the President and the First Lady alone. If Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and or any other group for going out on a date. We as Americans need to look at the entire picture of re-structuring the government by limited allowable expenses for all who hold Public Office. The President has a right for some privacy.

    Now, I would recommend that all who hold an MBA and Law Degree re-take an Ethics class. We are not in an economic situation because of the past President or current President. It takes a lot of greedy individuals to make a HUGE MESS. Therefore... Let's focus on what needs to be corrected and help the Middle Class Americans who are HURTING the MOST. Middle Class Americans are losing their jobs, homes, and more everyday. Why? The stimulus package is NOT working for the middle American.

    June 1, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Ia Guy

    Thank you, Secretary Clinton!

    June 1, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Griffin

    I've heard and seen it all now, I will never vote Republican again.

    June 1, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Illinoistom

    You go, girl! This issue is way more important than things like nuclear proliferation, human trafficking, starvation, and other silly things that most Secretaries of State have concerned themselves with.

    June 1, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Jon in CA

    How rich... the woman who thinks Gays shouldn't be able to marry promises to fight for gays worldwide!

    Next – Osama Bin Laden will lead "Take me out to the Ballgame" at Yankee Stadium.

    June 1, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. The Broker.

    You need rights to be Happy? Gay's are Queers. The most unhappy of this planet.

    June 1, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. gottlieb schlittnfahrt

    So, what's the big deal with gays and lesbians? Why are people afraid of them? Why can't they marry and be miserable just like hetero married folks? It's not like they're going to reproduce and take over the world. A far greater threat is presented by bigoted rednecks and Bible thumpin' evangelists. You know....the Bible....that book that's 50% fairy tales and 50% barbarian history.

    June 1, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Good Luck with that, Madam Secretary.

    I'm all for gay rights – if they want to marry, they should be as miserable as the rest of us. Just be fair across the board when it comes to the marriage penalty (look it up) and in actuarial tables when it comes to life insurance (again, look it up).

    June 1, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. Dawn in Pa

    Good going SOS Clinton. Gays and Lesbians should have their rights, and praying the gay right out of you. Not my friend, trust me and I don't think he wants that either.

    June 1, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. God help us

    Let's see if I understand this - our economy is still in the tank; millions are unemployed; trillions in retirment savings have been lost; homes have been lost; we are in two wars; No Korea is firing missles and developing nuclear; Pakistan is in a life and death battle with Al Quesda; the government is going socialist; our debt is out of control and growing; and with that as a backdrop, our Secretary of State will travel the globe so that gays have the right to bonk each other in a holy state of matrimony... I am sooooooooooooo glad I am a Republican.

    June 1, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Adam

    I love Hillary, but how about supporting gay rights (i.e. equal marriage) at home first??

    June 1, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. usnuzuluze

    let face it Bill Clinton turned Hillary into a lesbo, that is why she is fighting for queer rights. God Bless America. Send her and all those queers to queer world. Leave Anerica Alone

    June 1, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Bonnie

    It's a start but we have a long way to go!

    Please Mr. President, do the right thing and go further than just a "proclamation" and stand up for full equality in America!!!!!!!

    It's ok that you don't agree with marriage equality but please don't deny it to all of us who do!

    Standing up (ok, sitting down) for our rights!

    June 1, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. frank, pennsylvania

    I am disappointed in Clinton. Please don't sacrifice morality on the altar of politics! I know you need outspoken gays who will campaign for you, but our children, present and future should not be exposed to a reckless society!

    June 1, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Dan in KS

    At least someone in this administration is voicing concern for our rights...

    June 1, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. Typical Republican

    No way chick! We should torture the gay's! They will give us good info that will save the unborn babies that they can't produce!

    It's gods will. It's the american way! Torture gay people because it will cure them from being gay!

    June 1, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. equalityforall

    HOOOOORAAAAAY!!!!! Kudos to Hillary and Barack for their progressive stances and concerns for the well being of all human beings. Discrimination of all kinds must come to an end...and the time is now.

    June 1, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. skyhawkdriver

    Please do us a favor hillary and pay attention to north korea first..save the wishy washy stuff for later

    June 1, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. James

    Mr President, isnt choosing to support one minority group over tons of other ones discrimination in itself? As good of a man as LBJ was, he will always be remembered for loosing the Democracts the South. Continue to thread in this direction, and all you will be remembered for will be loosing the entire Independent Mid West.

    June 1, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. La Chatte

    Precisely why the gay community so heavily supported her in the primary. Obama is doing nothing.

    June 1, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. TCM

    The hell with the gays, try negotiating world peace with our adversaries instead of pandering to the whims of social deviants...good God, where'd you libs pick up these mindless idiots?

    June 1, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Larry

    BRAVO ... BRAVO ...

    Real people ...

    Real government ...

    It's about time ...

    Thank you Ms. Clinton for sharing a vision

    June 1, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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