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Obama, Clinton Elevate LGBT Issues in U.S. Foreign Policy

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United States foreign policy will begin to include the protection and promotion of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons as part of its human rights efforts.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama directed all foreign assistance and diplomatic agencies to advance LGBT rights abroad. In a speech in Geneva later that day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

Together, Obama and Clinton made it clear that the U.S. government views the treatment of LGBT people as important as the treatment of women, children, ethnic minorities, and other peoples.

Religion, Clinton said, is not an acceptable justification for violence against LGBT persons. "Our commitments to protect the freedom of religion and to defend the dignity of LGBT people emanate from a common source. For many of us, religious belief and practice is a vital source of meaning and identity, and fundamental to who we ...

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