Secretary of State Hillary Clinton marked International Human Rights Day with a phenomenal speech in Geneva yesterday. Over the course of 30 minutes, Clinton delivered a blunt yet inspiring speech that took on all the myths and canards about homosexuality and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people. Her address earned her a standing ovation in the Palais des Nations and will endear her and the Obama administration to gay people around the world.
After outlining the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and how they apply to all people seeking dignity and respect of who they are, Clinton declared, “[G]ay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
“It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives. And it is a violation of human rights when life-saving care is withheld from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay. No matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we are, we are all equally entitled to our human rights and dignity.”