Susan Rice challenges LGBT community to amplify message that ‘gay rights are straight up human rights’
June 24th, 2014
05:02 PM ET
5 months ago

Susan Rice challenges LGBT community to amplify message that ‘gay rights are straight up human rights’

Washington (CNN) - White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told LGBT activists on Tuesday that protecting and upholding human rights for all is "fundamental to our American character" and "essential to our American story."

She said President Barack Obama is committed to protecting the rights of gay and transgender couples, comparing their fight for equal rights to the struggle African Americans faced during the civil rights movement.

Rice, speaking to activists in Washington, said she would not be in the position she is today if her forefathers had not fought on her behalf.

"I feel a responsibility and a personal passion to help others enjoy the same opportunities that I have been blessed to receive,” she said.

“It’s what drives me as a public servant and as a mother, because I do not want my children, or anyone else’s, to have their life choices limited by how they look, who they worship, or whom they love.”

Rice delivered the keynote address at the White House Forum on Global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Human Rights.

She said that leaders in the gay community have "worked to replace fear with familiarity and vitriol with respect.”

“When you share quiet moments with your friends and families, your church members and coworkers, you seed mutual understanding,” Rice added.

“When a pro-basketball player, or an NFL draft pick, or a high school principal comes out-when a transgender woman is on the cover of TIME magazine-young people all over the country see that they can live their lives openly, with dignity, and achieve great things. "

She said that in many places around the world simply being gay or transgender is enough to make someone the victim of slurs or violence, adding that in many places just being a supporter of the LGBT community was enough to make someone a target.

"There are almost 80 countries, eight zero, countries in this world where discrimination against LGBT citizens is enshrined in law, and that number threatens to grow,” she said.

She then turned her attention inwards to the United States, noting that domestically, "prejudice has deep roots, " and laws limiting gay rights are still on the books in many states.

Rice ticked off some of the efforts the Obama administration has taken to help foster rights for the LGBT community, and said pointing the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, bringing an end of the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the armed forces. She also said law enforcement officials now have the tools to prosecute crimes against the LGBT community as hate crimes.

She urged attendees to keep rallying around the cause and said that the more open people are about their sexuality the more, "Young people all over the country see they can live their lives openly."

She told attendees that, "With more voices to enrich and amplify the message – the message that gay rights are straight up human rights - we can open many more minds. "

Rice said that while change takes time everyone should look at the things that have been accomplished like legalizing gay marriage.

"In 19 states and the District of Columbia, marriage equality is the law of the land. And, last week, the Presbyterian Church overwhelmingly voted to allow their ministers to officiate these ceremonies. " Rice said.

According to the White House, attendees at the conference included members of the faith community, LGBT activists from around the world, HIV and health advocates and members of the human rights community.


Filed under: Gay rights • President Obama • Susan Rice • Washington
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. just asking

    She said President Barack Obama is committed to protecting the rights of gay and transgender couples, comparing their fight for equal rights to the struggle African Americans faced during the civil rights movement.
    -–

    yeah but he really wasn't committed until a few months before his re-election when the lgbt community was refusing to contribute to his re-election campaign. obama's 'evolution' was a bought and paid for 'evolution'. what else is he willing to sell his soul for?

    June 24, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Tommy G

    OH LOOK!! Susan Rice!! I wonder what LIES the Obama administrations needs to spread today?

    June 24, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Just – How can you be so wrong day on and day out?

    June 24, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. howdeedoodat

    Why is anybody listening to this liar?

    June 24, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Tommy – Don't worry or wonder. I am sure Hannity will explain it to you.

    June 24, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. howdeedoodat

    I can't wait for this bought and paid for lefty to go away.

    June 24, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Hillary Izexi

    Isn't this the same Susan Rice who stated that the US Ambassador assassination was "just a spontaneous group of protestors". Then over a year later they caught the "mastermind" who planned the assassination?
    Obama definitely has a top notch group of liars working for him.

    June 24, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I agree Susan. That's what changed my way of thinking. Growing up in the black community being gay is considered wrong, but there is no way I could ever discriminate against another person after being discriminated against myself simply for my beautiful complexion.

    June 24, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "OH LOOK!! Susan Rice!! I wonder what LIES the Obama administrations needs to spread today?"

    No spreading lies today, junior...just spreading Nutella....mmmmm...Nutella.......

    June 24, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Wes

    sussan rice is a disaster.

    June 24, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    (hyperbole alert for TP folks)
    Rights are only meant for people of the favored religion and appearance.
    Just like Jesus and the Founding Fathers said.

    June 24, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. CALIFORNIA

    Susan Rice just parrots what her handlers tell her to.

    She's a disgrace to America

    June 24, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Wilkinson

    She is worthless with the exception of being able to lie exceptionally well.

    June 24, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. Jodo

    I love the sound of this black woman lying to me. It's so..... familiar

    June 24, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Then over a year later they caught the "mastermind" who planned the assassination?"

    Who promptly told them he had planned the entire thing in part as a response to and revenge for the video.

    Of course, CNN and the MSM have pointedly ignored that because it doesn't do the GOP/Teatrolls and their hyperbolic hysterical conspiracy theories any favors....so you may not have heard about those FACTS yet.

    June 24, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    ""There are almost 80 countries, eight zero, countries in this world where discrimination against LGBT citizens is enshrined in law, and that number threatens to grow,” she said.
    81 if the Christian Theocracy movement takes over. Just like Iran. How patriotic, oh I mean pathetic.

    June 24, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Thank you, Susan Rice! Well said.

    June 24, 2014 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Except for republicans, people actually have redeemable qualities.

    June 24, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    The entire republican tea bagging party of the Taliban is, was, and always will be a disaster.

    June 24, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    @just asking: "yeah but he really wasn't committed until a few months before his re-election when the lgbt community was refusing to contribute to his re-election campaign. obama's 'evolution' was a bought and paid for 'evolution'. what else is he willing to sell his soul for?"

    Another lie from just asking.

    President Obama stated on March 15, 2007, that "I do not agree...that homosexuality is immoral. And during the July 23, 2007 CNN/YouTube debate, Obama further stated that "... we've got to make sure that everybody is equal under the law. And the civil unions that I proposed would be equivalent in terms of making sure that all the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for same-sex couples as well as for heterosexual couples."

    In other words, just, EPIC FAIL.

    June 24, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Rob

    As if anyone cares what Obama's paid lair has to say. Next it will be a video that is at fault. Why is this woman getting paid tax payer money for her constant lies and obvious lack of character. After Benghazi, it is obvious this woman will say ANYTHING the head Liar in Chief tells her to.

    June 24, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. Richard in Houston

    Oh no the President sneezed. He did it wrong. What farce of a president. He needs to be investigated or impeached. Do you guys ever get tired or even have a life ?

    June 24, 2014 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Richard in Houston

    Continued from my previous message. People are laughing at you not with you.

    June 24, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. browne

    She said President Barack Obama is committed to protecting the rights of gay and transgender couples, comparing their fight for equal rights to the struggle African Americans faced during the civil rights movement. .................

    this is one of the many reasons OBAMA is failing this country, comparing the moraless issues of the LGBT to thestruggles of african americans is B.S. There is no comparison at all, OBAMA and his ADMIN are a joke and a disappointment to the U.S

    June 24, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. rla

    The rights are enumerated in the constitution and as far as I can see no one wants to abridge those rights for any American-- However the LGBGT community seems to have no problem trampling of others traditions in the name of RIGHTS! They need to get over their victim mentality before they become the next liberal/progressive lemmings

    June 24, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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