Tags: US | Biden | Gay | Rights

Biden: Gay Rights Take Precedence Over All Cultures

Image: Biden: Gay Rights Take Precedence Over All Cultures

Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 10:37 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

WASHINGTON — Seeking to mobilize a global front against anti-gay violence and discrimination, Vice President Joe Biden declared Tuesday that protecting gay rights is a defining mark of a civilized nation and must trump national cultures and social traditions.

Biden told a gathering of U.S. and international gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world

"I don't care what your culture is," Biden told about 100 guests at the Naval Observatory's vice presidential mansion. "Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice."

With anti-gay laws taking root in nearly 80 countries, Biden and other top White House officials met with religious, human rights and HIV health care advocates in a forum dedicated to promoting gay rights internationally.

Biden, who has emerged as a leading gay rights advocate within the Obama administration ever since he got ahead of Obama in declaring his support for gay marriage, said that across U.S government agencies officials have been instructed to make the promotion of gay rights abroad a priority.

Where countries fail to move toward protections of LGBT people, he warned, "there is a price to pay for being inhumane." Among those at the evening reception were leading gay rights activists and the ambassadors from Britain, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.

Earlier Tuesday, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice cast the protection of gays from global discrimination, abuse and even death as one of the most challenging international human rights issue facing the United States. Biden called gay rights "the civil rights issue of our day."

"To achieve lasting global change, we need everyone's shoulder at the wheel," she said. "With more voices to enrich and amplify the message — the message that gay rights are straight-up human rights — we can open more minds."

Rice cautioned that the effort is difficult because laws limiting gay rights in some countries enjoy strong popular support. But she said cultural differences do not excuse human rights violations.

"Governments are responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens, and it is incumbent upon the state, and on each of us, to foster tolerance and to reverse the tide of discrimination," Rice said.

Last week, the U.S. imposed visa bans on Ugandan officials who are involved in corruption and are violating the rights of gay people and others. Uganda passed a law in February that strengthened criminal penalties for gay sex and made life sentences possible for those convicted of breaking the law.

During his trip to Africa last year, Obama, while in Senegal, urged African leaders to extend equal rights to gays and lesbians. Senegal's president, however, pushed back, saying his country "still isn't ready" to decriminalize homosexuality. Seven countries have laws imposing death sentences for gay sex and Brunei is on track to becoming the eighth one.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Gas Chambers, Jewelry Unearthed at Sobibor Death Camp

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 09:00 AM

Archaeologists have uncovered the long-buried remains of gas chambers, and jewelry and other personal items belonging to . . .

Islamic State Advance Forces Thousands of Syrian Kurds to Flee

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 08:27 AM

A rapid advance by Islamic State militants forced Turkey to open its border with Syria today to about 4,000 Kurdish refu . . .

WH Struggles to Sell ISIS Strategy to Skeptical Democrats

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 08:11 AM

The White House's plan to train and equip Iraqi ground forces for the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) is being qu . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved