Though Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s United Nations address on LGBT rights in Geneva was described Tuesday by one senior State Department official as “unimpeachably respectful,” the Associated Press reports that some ambassadors appeared less than thrilled by her message:
“Clinton’s audience in Geneva included diplomats from Arab, African and other nations where homosexuality is criminalized or where brutality and discrimination against gay and transgender people is tolerated or encouraged. Many of the ambassadors in the audience responded with stony faces and rushed out of the room as soon as she finished speaking.” (Read the AP article here via The Washington Post.)
Secretary Clinton’s speech followed a memorandum issued Tuesday morning by President Obama, who in a multifaceted strategy directed federal agencies engaged abroad to defend LGBT rights. Both developments follow previous State Department and White House pronouncements supporting the global fight against anti-LGBT persecution.
In her address at the Palais des Nations, Clinton called on all countries to respect the civil rights of LGBT individuals. The secretary also announced a global fund to support organizations working to protect gay people who are marginalized and targeted with violence (read the story here).