Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Clinton Makes It Clear: Foreign Aid For LGBT Rights

Clinton Makes It Clear: Foreign Aid For LGBT Rights

NGLCC Co-Founders Attend Historic Speech

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a bold and powerful statement at the United Nations in Geneva that the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are as central to the U.N.’s founding principals of equality as race, gender, and religious affiliations. In addition, she vowed to use foreign aid to promote LGBT rights abroad—a strong reprimand to countries that support or flirt with criminalizing homosexuality.

Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell, NGLCC co-founders, where invited to attend the speech as part of the organization’s work with the Council for Global Equality. They were among a select group of LGBT Americans invited to witness the groundbreaking speech and to meet with Secretary Clinton and U.N. human rights officials.

“As the economic advocate for LGBT business owners and employees in the U.S. and abroad, we are honored to have been asked to be part of such an important moment in the lives of LGBT people,” said Nelson, NGLCC President. “From the Caribbean to Nigeria to Russia, LGBT people face not only a struggle for civil rights, but a terrifying persecution because they dare to exist. For these people, Sec. Clinton continues to be a beacon of light in a very dark time.”

Sec. Clinton’s speech anchors a year of unprecedented defense of LGBT rights by the Obama administration. In June, the administration supported a successful U.N. resolution, expressing “grave concern” at the violence and human rights abuses faced by LGBT people worldwide. President Obama also acknowledged the rights of gays and lesbians to be free of persecution regardless of whom they love in his speech to the U.N. in September.

Nelson and Mitchell are committed to leading international efforts to expand business opportunities. Following a successful trade mission to Argentina in 2010, NGLCC will conduct the first official U.S. Government-certified trade mission to Colombia in 2012. In addition to campaigning for economic development, Nelson and Mitchell will promote the rights of LGBT people.

“With the repeal of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and marriage equality in New York in 2011, it should be very clear to everyone, everywhere that Americans will not stand for anyone being victimized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Nelson. “Sec. Clinton’s profound statement to the world sets the stage for global dialogue and a movement in the right direction.”

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