US to protect gay rights abroad

10:54 • 07.12.11

The US has publicly declared it will fight discrimination against gays and lesbians abroad by using foreign aid and diplomacy to encourage reform, BBC News reported.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience of diplomats in Geneva that "gay rights are human rights".

A memo from the Obama administration directs US government agencies to consider gay rights when making aid and asylum decisions.

Similar policies already exist for gender equality and ethnic violence.

"It should never be a crime to be gay" Mrs Clinton said at the United Nations in Geneva, adding that a country's cultural or religious traditions was no excuse for discrimination.

Her audience included representatives from countries where homosexuality is a criminal offence.

Many ambassadors rushed out of the room as soon as Mrs Clinton finished speaking, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The announcement, cited by the White House as the "first US government strategy to combat human rights abuses against gays and lesbians abroad", is also being seen as part of the Obama administration's outreach to gays and lesbians ahead of the 2012 election.

The official memorandum does not outline consequences for countries with poor records on gay rights. But it allows US agencies working abroad to consult with international organisations on discrimination.

"Gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world," Mrs Clinton said in Geneva. "Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality."

The new policy could pose awkward questions for US officials formulating policy towards some regular allies and regional powers.
In 2011, the state department's annual human rights report cited ally Saudi Arabia's abuses against gays. The country bans homosexuality outright.

Afghanistan also prohibits homosexual activity, and the same report found that authorities "sporadically" enforced the prohibition.
In the US, Republican presidential candidates criticised the administration's decision, with Texas Governor Rick Perry saying in a statement that "promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers' money".

Mrs Clinton acknowledged the US had its own mixed record on gay rights. As late as 2003, some states had laws that made gay sex a crime.

Earlier this year President Barack Obama signed into law a bill repealing the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law and allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.

Armenian News -

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

15:34 • 30/07

Australians rally over juvenile torture

15:20 • 30/07

Football news: Ronaldo out of La Liga opener

15:03 • 30/07

Haykakan Zhamanak: Police violence against journalists 'intentionally arranged'

14:34 • 30/07

Armenian ombudsman visiting police precincts after clashes in Yerevan

14:07 • 30/07

RFE/RL president condemns attack against journalists in Yerevan  

13:56 • 30/07

Armenian authorities intimidate peaceful protesters – Heritage party

13:21 • 30/07

26 peaceful protesters detained in Armenia's capital as police provoke fresh violence

13:08 • 30/07

Hidden message in da Vinci's Last Supper: Claims artist left out halos to show Jesus was a 'common mortal'

12:27 • 30/07

Armenian opposition party condemns police violence in recent clashes  

12:02 • 30/07

Facebook could face extra tax bill after US investigation

11:39 • 30/07

US skydriver working with net but not parachute

11:19 • 30/07

Two Paris attacks suspects extradited to France

11:10 • 30/07

165 taken to police after clashes in Yerevan

10:32 • 30/07

Top US general visiting Turkey on Jul. 31

10:16 • 30/07

Nagorno-Karabakh serviceman wounded in Azerbaijani truce breaches  

09:50 • 30/07

Yerevan standoff: Police clash with protesters near seized compound (photos)

09:11 • 30/07

US election: Clinton campaign hacked

20:20 • 29/07

Azerbaijan closes TV station over interview with Turkish cleric Gulen

20:05 • 29/07

Last call for free Windows 10 upgrade

19:52 • 29/07

Is this the world's oldest woman with Down's Syndrome? Frances battled breast cancer and tuberculosis defying all the odds to reach her 75th birthday

19:39 • 29/07

Zika virus: Florida cases 'highly likely' to be first US-based infections

18:59 • 29/07

Ankara, Moscow nearly agreed to lift all economic limitations

18:32 • 29/07

U.N. supports 'brelfies' to encourage breastfeeding

18:19 • 29/07

Teaching community through capoeira in a hardscrabble Rio slum

18:06 • 29/07

Syria conflict: UN asks to control Aleppo corridors

17:53 • 29/07

Current situation may affect Armenia’s economic progress – expert

17:38 • 29/07

Skype weddings legitimate for internationals, Italian court rules

17:17 • 29/07

Armenian gunman wounded in shootouts in seized police building

16:55 • 29/07

France church attack: Manuel Valls highlights 'justice failure'

16:44 • 29/07

Armenian Health Ministry calls for medical personnel's release from seized police headquarters

16:35 • 29/07

Armenia’s government lags behind society in terms of progress – sociologist

15:59 • 29/07

Turkey creates ‘Traitors’ Cemetery’ for dead coup plotters

15:38 • 29/07

Australian TV host apologizes for transphobic jokes

14:47 • 29/07

Eurozone GDP growth halves as French economy stalls

14:17 • 29/07

Yerevan standoff: Police thought to have used physical violence against detainees

13:40 • 29/07

No right to rebel in any international documents – Armenia’s prosecutor general

13:18 • 29/07

Wendell Lira quits football for new career

13:07 • 29/07

Pope Francis stands under 'Arbeit Macht Frei' sign as he visits Auschwitz to reflect on horrors committed at Nazi death camp and 'let his tears flow' 

13:02 • 29/07

Unicorn carousels, a vegetable tower and a FLOATING top tier: The world's most amazing wedding cakes revealed

12:32 • 29/07

Antoine Agoudjian's best photograph: an Armenian man dances for his lost son – The Guardian

12:14 • 29/07

Russian military base serviceman found in Yerevan – Police

11:50 • 29/07

Turkey detains top businessmen over failed coup attempt

11:36 • 29/07

Yerevan standoff: Night passes without incident as tensions enter into 13th day

10:30 • 29/07

Azerbaijan keeps violating truce on Karabakh frontline

10:14 • 29/07

Haykakan Zhamanak: Big businesses monopolizing Armenia’s economic resources

09:47 • 29/07

US social media star hurt in crash

09:44 • 29/07

Global warming causing swathes of jellyfish to flock to British beaches

09:00 • 29/07

US election: Clinton faces moment of reckoning

08:45 • 29/07

Amazon boss becomes third richest man

08:15 • 29/07

Syria conflict: Red cross urges for guarantees for Aleppo

21:03 • 28/07

By weakening Armenia you are also threatening Artsakh’s future - Union of Freedom Fighters of Artsakh

19:50 • 28/07

Oracle buys cloud pioneer NetSuite for $9.3bn

19:33 • 28/07

Hostage-paramedics supplied with food, medicines – official

18:44 • 28/07

Pottermania awakens as new play, book, film revive magical world

18:17 • 28/07

Lloyds cuts a further 3,000 jobs and doubles branch closure plan

17:25 • 28/07

Merkel rules out migrant policy reversal after attacks

17:14 • 28/07

Gülen planned to return to Turkey like Khomeini: Turkish justice minister

16:51 • 28/07

Police actions go beyond the law – human rights activist

16:40 • 28/07

Armenian DM gives public talk for summer school attendees

16:18 • 28/07

China says to hold drills with Russia in South China Sea

15:11 • 28/07

Celebrities join anti-Trump petition in US  

14:57 • 28/07

Samsung profits boosted by smartphone sales

14:44 • 28/07

Xiaomi launches first dual camera smartphone

14:26 • 28/07

Armenian agriculture minister discusses cooperation plans with Tehran municipality officials

14:12 • 28/07

Ombudsman office reps visit hospital for convicts

13:43 • 28/07

Syria conflict: 'Exit corridors' to open for Aleppo, says Russia

13:29 • 28/07

UN head ‘deeply concerned’ by ongoing arrests in Turkey

12:48 • 28/07

Armenian opposition activist detained over standoff

12:21 • 28/07

Armenian lawyer condemns ambulance crew detention

11:59 • 28/07

Apple sells billionth iPhone

11:21 • 28/07

Yerevan standoff: Day 12

10:00 • 28/07

North Korean seeks South Korean asylum in Hong Kong

09:41 • 28/07

Azerbaijan opens grenade fire on Nagorno-Karabakh village

09:17 • 28/07

Turkey shuts down media, fires more troops

09:11 • 28/07

Rio 2016: Russia sees off first contestants on flight to Brazil

08:59 • 28/07

Jupiter's Great Red Spot 'roars with heat'

08:48 • 28/07

Aravot: Armenians held illegally over continuing standoff may win cases in ECHR

08:24 • 28/07

US election: Obama slams Trump, makes appeal for Clinton

17:40 • 27/07

Turkish police detain gendarmerie officers, civilian in Hrank Dink probe

17:25 • 27/07

Dances with Wolves actor Chief David Bald Eagle dies at 97

17:02 • 27/07

Refusing medical aid inhumane – doctor

16:33 • 27/07

Armed group’s further steps may prove blow to Armenia’s statehood

15:48 • 27/07

Has new form of life been discovered at bottom of ocean? Mysterious glowing purple orb has scientists and internet stumped

15:35 • 27/07

Coca-Cola quarterly revenue drops 5.1 percent

15:03 • 27/07

Yerevan hostage drama: Polish ambassador to Armenia hopes for peaceful solution

14:35 • 27/07

Erdoğan to withdraw cases opened against Turkey’s opposition leaders

14:17 • 27/07

Hop to it! Inside bizarre taxidermy museum, with over 500 stuffed frogs seen playing tennis, going to school and performing circus acts

14:04 • 27/07

Armed group not unanimous, without plan of actions – Artur Ghazaryan

13:50 • 27/07

Syria: IS twin blasts rock Kurdish city of Qamishli

13:11 • 27/07

Air France warns of 'special concern about France as a destination'

12:58 • 27/07

Paramedics taken hostage in Armenia’s capital

12:47 • 27/07

Young engineers from Technology Camp present self-made three-dimensional printers to schools of Shushi, Vanq and Tchartar

12:32 • 27/07

Detention warrants issued for 47 former Zaman executives in Gülen probe

12:19 • 27/07

Hayots Ashkharh: Banks’ investments in industry AMD 18bn down

11:43 • 27/07

French church attack: President Hollande meets faith leaders

11:26 • 27/07

Azerbaijan continues ceasefire violations

11:08 • 27/07

Haykakan Zhamanak: Lavrov document: does it really exist?

10:25 • 27/07

102-year-old Jerry Emmett has tears in her eyes as Hillary Clinton secures nomination

10:12 • 27/07

Yerevan standoff: two members of armed group seriously wounded, life in danger

09:38 • 27/07

Apple sees iPhone sales drop again but beats forecasts