LGBT advocates around the world continue to praise President Obama for including gays and lesbians in his second inaugural address.
Toni Reis, president of the Brazilian Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals or ABGLT in Portuguese, described the specific references to the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and ‚Äúour gay brothers and sisters‚ÄĚ as a ‚Äúbold stance.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúMay the position you have taken publicly serve as an example for many politicians who are our allies but who remain in the closet when it comes to defending our rights publicly, or those that yield to political pressure from leaders opposed to gay rights and veto affirmative public policies for the LGBT population in exchange for political support,‚ÄĚ he said in a press release. ‚ÄúYour gesture has demonstrated the importance of taking a firm and unambiguous position.‚ÄĚ
Sim√≥n Cazal, chief executive officer of Somosgay, an LGBT advocacy organization in Paraguay, also applauded the president‚Äôs speech.
‚ÄúPresident Obama‚Äôs declarations were received with much happiness in Paraguay because of the positive global impact they have on the LGBT movement,‚ÄĚ he told the Washington Blade on Wednesday. ‚ÄúIt gives hope to activists in countries where we confront violence and even death for simply being who we are.‚ÄĚ
LGBT rights around the world became a cornerstone of the White House‚Äôs foreign policy during the president‚Äôs first term.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Dec. 2011 declared ‚Äúgay rights are human rights‚ÄĚ during a landmark speech in Geneva that commemorated International Human Rights Day. The White House on the same day released a presidential memo that directed agencies responsible for American foreign policy to promote LGBT rights.
The State Department has also spoken out against anti-LGBT violence in Honduras, Jamaica, Uganda, Zimbabwe and other countries ‚ÄĒ Ugandan gay rights activist Frank Mugisha is among those Clinton honored at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, the East African country‚Äôs capital, in August.
The former First Lady also spoke at the International AIDS Conference that took place last summer in D.C.
“Both achievements and failures in LGBT rights issues of America and other developed countries are often watched closely by emerging, young LGBT communities such as [the] LGBT Centre of Mongolia,‚ÄĚ Otgonbaatar Tsedendemberel, the group‚Äôs executive director, told the Blade in reference to Clinton‚Äôs speech in Geneva. ‚ÄúThis time we are proud of Mr. Barack Obama who is in sync with the voice for equal rights and justice for all human beings. Mongolia ‚ÄĒ a small but ambitious nomadic mentality between two big powers ‚ÄĒ has been attempting to adopt democratic principles, values and ways of thinking into its post-socialistic transitional society and the United States of America is our third ally and definitely a role model of democracy.‚ÄĚ
The president‚Äôs second inaugural speech also coincided with same-sex marriage debates that are currently underway in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, M√©xico and other countries.
New Zealand Parliamentarian Louisa Wall told the Blade she feels media coverage of the speech in her country ‚Äúis contributing positively to the marriage equality debate‚ÄĚ there.
‚ÄúHis words spoke to the heart of national identity based on passed social developments ‚ÄĒ all of us are created equal ‚ÄĒ recounting Seneca Falls, the evolution of women’s rights, Selma, [the] evolution of racial equality and Stonewall, the beginning of the evolution of the freedom of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s to live open and honest lives,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúMarriage equality will fulfill the values envisaged in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights ‚ÄĒ that all people have the ability to be born free and equal in dignity and rights.‚ÄĚ
She added Obama‚Äôs LGBT-inclusive inaugural address reaffirm Archbishop Desmond Tutu‚Äôs previous comments against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
‚Äú[For] President Obama to say ‚ÄėOur journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law ‚ÄĒ for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well‚Äô enshrines his commitment to full equality and non-discrimination in this his second presidential term,‚ÄĚ Wall said. ‚ÄúThis leadership is clear and concise ‚ÄĒ a truth that Obama is completely committed to, that of one law for all and the belief in and realization of full equality, in status, rights and opportunities for all.‚ÄĚ
Jaime Parada Hoyl, who last October became Chile‚Äôs first openly gay candidate elected to office when he won a seat on the Providencia municipal council outside Santiago, the country‚Äôs capital, agreed.
‚ÄúToday‚Äôs most important [world] leader is actually saying to the rest of us that governments have an obligation to protect their citizens from discrimination and abuses motivated by sexual orientation,‚ÄĚ he told the Blade. ‚ÄúThis cannot be overlooked. We expect a lot from Obama‚Äôs second term on this matter and hope that this will be able to translate to the rest of the world.‚ÄĚ