Hillary Clinton, who famously told the United Nations that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” may become U.S. ambassador to that body in Joe Biden’s administration.
The former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee (and popular vote winner) is “being discussed privately” as a possibility for U.N. ambassador as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris consider key appointments, The Washington Post reports, citing an anonymous source.
“The thinking behind the move was that it would be a way for Biden to highlight the importance of that position in his administration and that placing her there would raise the prestige of the U.N. itself at a time when global cooperation, and the U.S. role on the world stage, has ebbed,” the Post reports.
Biden and Harris have pledged to make promotion of LGBTQ+ equality around the world a priority of their administration, and Clinton would undoubtedly be a strong advocate for that. In 2011, addressing the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, she said, “Being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
To an audience that included representatives of countries that criminalize homosexuality, she noted that LGBTQ+ people are an “invisible minority” who are “routinely arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed.”
“Even though progress on this front is not easy, we cannot delay acting,” she added. “We need to ask ourselves, ‘How would it feel if it were a crime to love the person I love?’”
Dan Baer, a gay man who helped craft the speech when he worked at the State Department, told The Advocate last year, “She put enormous thought into that. She was intent on making it as difficult to criticize and as comprehensive as possible.”
Richard Grenell, who was U.S. ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence under Donald Trump, was named to lead an initiative aimed at decriminalizing homosexuality worldwide during the Trump administration. But the initiative never had any notable accomplishments. Trump himself highlighted the campaign in a 2019 speech at the U.N., but it rang hollow to many activists considering the numerous anti-LGBTQ+ actions he had taken domestically. And he was not the first president to mention LGBTQ+ rights at the U.N.; that was Barack Obama.