social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Obama Administration: Gay Rights Are Human Rights
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 12/06/11
Last updated on: 12/07/11
Bookmark and Share

On December 6, 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum instructing federal agencies abroad to defend glbtq rights. The issuance of the memorandum was timed to coincide with a historic speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before the United Nations Council on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland in which she called on all nations to respect the human rights of gay people. "Being LGBT does not make you less human," she declared.

In his "Memorandum for The Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies," President Obama asserted that "The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights."

"I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world--whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation," he continued. "That is why I declared before heads of state gathered at the United Nations, '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.' Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere."

The President goes on to direct all agencies engaged abroad "to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons."

In her speech, Secretary Clinton conceded that the United States has its own failings in ensuring equal civil rights for its glbtq citizens, and echoed the President's contention that ending discrimination is a common cause for all countries.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Obama Administration's embrace of gay rights as human rights is that it aligns the U.S. with recent statements by the U.K.'s David Cameron that British foreign aid will be conditioned on an end to the persecution of sexual minorities, a stance that has also been urged by other European countries, such as Norway and Sweden.

However, it is likely that the approach of the United States will be to use foreign aid to reward countries that respect the human rights of its glbtq citizens rather than deny aid to those who do not.

Thus, Secretary Clinton announced the formation of a fund to assist advocacy groups working on glbtq rights.

The new policy enunciated by the President and the Secretary of State will make a tangible difference in the treatment of glbtq refugees and asylum seekers, as well as in the support the U.S. extends to those advocating for equal rights across the globe.

Prior to her speech, Secretary Clinton met with activists from countries such as Uganda, Cameroon, and Nigeria, all of which have been criticized for deplorable human rights records and laws that criminalize homosexuality.

Before her speech, Clinton also met with Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solomonese. He issued a statement lauding the leadership exhibited by President Obama and Secretary Clinton, "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. . . . There is no question that the administration's record of advancing equality for LGBT people has been enhanced by the leadership of Secretary Clinton who consistently underscores the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights."

Also at the meeting with Secretary Clinton were Michael Guest, former U.S. Ambassador to Romania, and South African Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty.

Here is a link to President Obama's Memorandum: 2011lgbt_mem_rel.pdf.

Here is a video of Secretary Clinton's historic speech:

Related Encyclopedia Entries
Related Special Features
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.