USAID’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Coordinating Committee hosted a screening last Friday of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s historic speech on LGBT Human Rights.
In her landmark speech made at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Secretary Clinton marked Human Rights Day 2011 by affirming that any definition of human rights must include sexual orientation and gender identity and that the Obama Administration would defend the human rights of LGBT people as part of the United States Government’s comprehensive human rights policy and as a priority of American foreign policy.
In her speech, the Secretary stated, “Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality. And protecting the human rights of all people, gay or straight, is not something that only Western governments do.”
She continued, by reminding the audience that, “progress comes from being willing to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We need to ask ourselves, ‘How would it feel if it were a crime to love the person I love? How would it feel to be discriminated against for something about myself that I cannot change?’ This challenge applies to all of us as we reflect upon deeply held beliefs, as we work to embrace tolerance and respect for the dignity of all persons, and as we engage humbly with those with whom we disagree in the hope of creating greater understanding.”