Obama Asks the World to Be Nice to Gay People, Support Gay Rights

Despite the fact that the U.S. government does not, at this time, really all-the-way fully support “the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to lead productive and dignified lives, free from fear and violence,” The Obama Administration on Tuesday called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to “fight discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world.”

“Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love. The U.S. government is firmly committed to supporting the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to lead productive and dignified lives, free from fear and violence.”

Despite the resentment implied by our opening paragraph, the truth is that American Gays are really lucky compared to a lot of the world. Sure, we’re no Canada and we can’t just yet register at Crate & Barrel, but at least our government doesn’t openly sanction the rape, torture and murder of gay people! It’s also worth noting that George W. Bush consistently sidestepped this topic and never spoke up for gay & lesbian rights. Probably he was on vacation. You know?

Suzanne Nossel, deputy assistant secretary of State for international organizational affairs, said:

“It is a really pressing issue globally that there continue to be killings on the basis of sexual orientation and persecution on that basis. I think this will stimulate dialogue and increase recognition of the importance of the issue among governments.”

The President of Communications at The Human Rights Campaign said “the U.S. was finally stepping into the role it should have held all along as a worldwide leader in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

Oh also? Last weekend when President Obama was in Brazil hanging out with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, Obama announced that he’ll be creating a government position to monitor gay rights in the Western Hemisphere. Gayest administration ever, I’m tellin’ ya.

This is a rough estimate based on our calculations of what The Executive of Gay Rights in the Western Hemisphere will look like:

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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26 Comments

  1. At this point I’m just so over anything Obama has to say about how great he is at gay rights. I’m glad someone is doing this, but his political posturing and semi flip flopping over gay rights is really starting to piss me off.

      • Let me just preface this by saying I’m incredibly glad that someone is in the white house taking care of gay business. It bothers me though that it feels like we’re pushing when we ask for more progress, but I don’t see why we shouldn’t ask for more when we’re still treated so unequally. This is where my issue with Obama comes in, but it’s more just my issue with the political process and how much I dislike American government.

        The thing that bothers me the most is how in 2008, he was all “I don’t believe in gay marriage but my opinions are evolving” which, okay, fine, you’re running for office, let’s not say how we really feel because we’ll alienate swing voters. Cut to now, when we’re slowly getting back into talking about elections, and now that the tides have turned in the US w/r/t gay rights he’s like ‘gays are the greatest, we should all have a sassy gay best friend and let them marry their partners’. I just want him to take a stand on the issue and realize that there’s really not a gray area when it comes to gay rights, we’re either going to be treated like equals or we’re not going to be. He told us he’d deal with DADT, and in the most roundabout way possible he did, and it barely even happened because he was too chicken to executive order that crap out of existence. I just want him to acknowledge the fact that we are here and we are equal and he can’t just choose to be our friend whenever he feels it’s convenient for him.

    • i’ll second that. i mean it’s great that he’s done SO much in relation to gay rights, however, he’s sort of at fault with the rest of his administration. all that’s really been accomplished is in relation to the gay community, and although that was a huge part of his campaign and that really did have a great deal of why he got elected, it sort of is time for obama to say he’s great at something else.

  2. I’ll take this for what it’s worth. We still have so far to go, but you’re right – the government isn’t openly sanctioning rape, torture, and murder. I’d much rather live here than Uganda or somewhere similar. Also, would there have ever been a position monitoring gay rights if McCain was president right now? *shudder* No. Not at all. I’m not sure if he can even say the word “gay” without looking like he wants to vomit. Basically, I think we should be happy about this, but also realize that we aren’t going to settle for small concessions. We have to keep pushing, but I think maybe this is what progress looks like.

  3. I concede that we have it pretty well off… but I’m idealistic and hot headed so that’s not good enough for me. I WANT EQUALITY BUT MORESO ACCEPTANCE G*DD*MN*T. Can I walk down the street with my arm around my (short haired, female) best friend without getting glared at yet from every passerby?

  4. While Obama’s call to the UN Human Rights council may seem like a small step to some, in the international community this has the potential to be huge.

    I’m taking a human rights in the United Nations course right now, and sexual orientation is not included ANYWHERE as a protected right. While there have been Conventions on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination and discrimination against women, nothing so far has been said about discrimination against the LGBT community.

    Raising awareness is the first step towards normalization of this issue, and by taking a firm stance and saying the United States will lead the way in monitoring gay rights in the western hemisphere, Obama is paving the way for gay rights to be recognized on an international level. Which would be pretty damn cool.

    • THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY. I guess it’s just the norm to add the “T” in lbgT when someone says, “Yeah, I am an lgbt activist,” like people just vomit it out as some sort of umbrella term to prove that they support minority rights.

      Well guess what? Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals need protection, but how about the group that is open to more descrimination rather than less because they often times wear their sexual minority status on their sleeves?

      I think Suzanne Nossel’s comment is indicative of the general public’s total lack of awareness about this when she says “It is a really pressing issue globally that there continue to be killings on the basis of sexual orientation and persecution on that basis. I think this will stimulate dialogue and increase recognition of the importance of the issue among governments.” BEING TRANSGENDER IS NOT A SEXUAL ORIENTATION, KTHNXBYE.

      Okay. Done being angry. Maybe. For, like, 30 seconds.

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