Tales from the Trail

Conservatives bash Obama for gay rights stand

December 7, 2011

Conservative groups and Republican White House hopeful Rick Perry wasted no time in panning the Obama administration for its move on Tuesday to stand up for gay rights abroad – the first-ever U.S. government strategy to tackle LGBT human rights abuses worldwide.

In an seven-point executive order on Tuesday, Obama told U.S. diplomats and foreign aid workers to do more to advance rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered persons abroad – a move that promotes U.S. human rights policies and speaks to a key Democratic constituency at home.

“I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world…No country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere,” Obama said in the memo, which will be published in the Federal Register. “I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”

Obama’s memo coincided with a visit to the White House by pop singer and gay icon Lady Gaga. She was scheduled to meet officials from the White House public engagement office to discuss her new “Born This Way” foundation, which focuses on fighting bullying and homophobia.

Texas governor Rick Perry took time out from his presidential campaign to decry a “war on traditional American values” and termed Obama “out of touch” and “at war with people of faith.”

“Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money,” Perry said in a release. “Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong.”

Also wielding the whip was the Family Research Council, a conservative group.

“It is startling that President Obama is prepared to throw the full weight and reputation of the United States behind the promotion overseas of the radical ideology of the sexual revolution,” said Peter Sprigg, the group’s senior fellow. In the past, Sprigg has called for “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”

Gays and lesbians were big Obama backers in 2008 and he is counting on their support for his re-election campaign in 2012.

Joe Solmonese, president of gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, met on Tuesday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other LGBT rights leaders:

“Today’s actions by President Obama make clear that the United States will not turn a blind eye when governments commit or allow abuses to the human rights of LGBT people,” Solmonese said.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Comments
8 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I thought conservatives wanted the government’s hand out of our pockets and nose out of our business.

Posted by gobucks | Report as abusive
 

Excuse me , but I think we have more serious problems at home, and one of those problems is sticking our nose in other countries business. Another problem we have is giving our tax money to other countries. And a third problem is borrowing money from one country to give to another. This is only a few of very many problems that seem to me to be more important than other countries sexual and cultural behavier.

Posted by losconinhum | Report as abusive
 

What Obama is doing is Satanic. Someone tell Obama his concern is unwanted here in Africa. We have values to protect.

Posted by Simonby | Report as abusive
 

How is the right not to be imprisoned, executed “special rights”?
How is the right not to be beaten up and killed “special rights”?
How is the right to have a job and be safe in the streets, “special rights”?
How is the right to have a place to live “special rights”?
How is the right to love someone and have them love you “special rights”?

These are rights that LGBT do not have in most Islamic, African and Asian countries unless they deny that they are LGBT for their own safety.

If you vote for the Tea Party you want your head read.

Posted by DerekWilliams | Report as abusive
 

gobucks – Conservatives are staunch defenders of the constitution. As long as you’re a rich straight white man. Otherwise you don’t deserve any “special rights”.

Posted by 4ngry4merican | Report as abusive
 

So, Mr. Perry, which HUMAN RIGHTS are gay people not entitled to? An itemized list would be most helpful.

Posted by MichaelinSF | Report as abusive
 

losconinhum: “what you blithely refer to as “other countries sexual and cultural behavier (sic)” is in reality about GLBT people’s lives – literally! It could mean the difference between life and death in some countries! It could also mean ordinary lives vs criminal lives in jail. We are talking persecution, not “cultural behavier”. Human rights are extremely important for everybody!
Remember Pastor Niemoeller who wrote:

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Pastor Martin Niemoeller – Germany, 1945

Posted by dbmyers | Report as abusive
 

Resident Obama is using the Global Gay community as a TOOL for re-election after three years in office. It’s the same thing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz does to the Wilton Manors Gay community that we have to “put-up” with as well.

Posted by Davedixter | Report as abusive
 

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