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Freedom House Applauds Secretary Clinton’s Speech Commemorating Human Rights Day
Freedom House applauds Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her remarks highlighting gay rights in honor of Human Rights Day. She declared that the United States will make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights a diplomatic priority and establish a Global Equality Fund to support civil society organizations working on these issues worldwide.
Violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been largely ignored internationally. In many countries, including Pakistan, Uganda, Ghana, Morocco and Iran—homosexuality is still illegal and gays and lesbians face harassment, imprisonment and death. In June 2011, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council passed a historic resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity, calling on the high commissioner to conduct a study examining discrimination against LGBT people.
Uganda introduced legislation in 2009 that would criminalize homosexual acts. Media antagonism towards gays and lesbians after the introduction of the legislation is thought to have played a role in the murder of gay rights activist David Kato after his picture was printed with the words “hang them” in a local paper. In Ghana, government ministers called for condemnation of homosexuality and the “public lynching of homosexuals.” Moscow’s government—along with the governments of a number of other countries— have attempted to ban gay and lesbian pride parades.