Page 35 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
MAY 2013
35
LGBT individuals around the world, so that equality does not
end at our borders. As Sec. Clinton so simply, yet forcefully, put
it in a 2011 speech marking International Human Rights Day:
“Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
We are fortunate Secretary of State John Kerry shares his
predecessor’s commitment to this cause. He was one of just 14
senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act back in
1996, and has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality since
2011.
Advocating Equality
Now that America has seen the light on issues of LGBT
equality, we have become advocates for treating gay rights as
an integral aspect of the promotion of human rights worldwide.
After years of opposition, the United States’ decision to support
a 2011 United Nations resolution condemning discrimination
against LGBT citizens was instrumental in getting it passed in
the Human Rights Council against the ferce opposition of Rus-
sia and some African and Islamic countries.
When asked how the U.N. resolution would afect gays and
lesbians in countries that opposed the resolution, U.S. Deputy
Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer said it showed “that there are
many people in the international community who stand with
them and support them, and that change will come.”
“It’s a historic method of tyranny to make you feel that you
are alone,” he said. “One of the things that this resolution does
for people everywhere, particularly LGBT people everywhere,
is to remind them that they are not alone.”
For GLIFAA, the journey continues as we strive to fulfll our
motto: Pride. Every day. Te world over.
n
GLIFAA members discuss issues with Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for Human Resources Marcia S. Bernicat, center, at the
group’s 20th-anniversary event.