From Equality Illinois:
“Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced new and unprecedented steps in American foreign policy and the global pursuit of LGBT equality. The historic declaration highlighted the need for all nations to address LGBT human rights violations and vowed that the United States would use every tool of diplomacy, including foreign aid, in this effort.
Specific measures of the new policy were outlined in a presidential memorandum issued to executive departments and agencies and affirmed in a groundbreaking address by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the United Nations to mark international Human Rights Day. The measures include a requirement that American diplomats abroad will record LGBT human rights violations and abuses to be included in the State Department’s annual human rights report; a directive to all departments and agencies acting abroad to combat LGBT criminalization; a $3 million global equality fund aimed at helping civil groups abroad promote, protect and ensure LGBT rights; and a commitment that America will work to protect LGBT refugees and those who seek asylum. An emergency support program for allies and defenders of LGBT human rights has also been created through a newly founded task force in Washington, D.C. Watch Secretary Clinton’s remarks and learn more about the presidential memorandum here.
This is a major step forward for LGBT rights abroad and emphasizes the work that has yet to be done at home. LGBT people across this nation still do not share full equality in marriage, employment, adoption, safe schools, spousal benefits and so much more. Although improvements such as the recently-enacted civil union law in Illinois and our state’s non-discrimination policies have come with time, there remains an ever-pressing need for comprehensive action for LGBT equality.
We are grateful that the Obama Administration has taken these transformative steps on the matter of global LGBT equality. We look forward to the Administration’s next steps to secure full LGBT equality at home.
Let’s keep moving forward!
Very truly yours,
Chief Executive Officer”