The Administration of President Barack Obama warned the world against gay and lesbian discrimination Tuesday, saying the United States will use foreign assistance as well as diplomacy to back the Administration’s belief that it is a basic human right to be a homosexual.
At the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared the struggle for gay equality to difficult passages toward women’s rights and racial equality, and she said a country’s cultural or religious traditions are no excuse for discrimination.
“Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” she said. “It should never be a crime to be gay.”
According to The Associated Press, Clinton’s audience included diplomats from Arab, African and other nations where homosexuality is criminalized and where discrimination against homosexuals is tolerated or encouraged.
The announcement that the United States will no longer send foreign aid to countries that do not support gay rights reportedly did not sit well with many of the U.N. leaders, as many of the ambassadors in the audience rushed out of the room as soon as Clinton finished speaking.
Republican Presidential primary candidate Rick Perry has spoken out against Clinton’s announcement, saying in a statement: “Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money.”