UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s Statement on LGBT Human Rights Memorandum

Today, President Obama directed
all agencies to protect and promote the human rights of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender persons abroad. At the United Nations, we have
strongly supported efforts to codify and enshrine the promise of
equality for the LGBT community, and the President’s action adds yet
more force to our urgent fight.

Since taking office in 2009, the Obama Administration has
worked tirelessly within the UN system to advance the human rights of
the world’s LGBT persons. Early on, we signed the UN General Assembly’s
Statement on Sexual Orientation on Gender Identity. We joined the LGBT
Core Groups in Geneva and New York. We won NGO consultative status for
the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

We championed
the first UN resolution dedicated to advancing the basic and
fundamental rights of LGBT persons. Last December, on Human Rights Day,
we pledged to restore language including LGBT individuals in a
resolution condemning extrajudicial killings. Within two weeks, we did

There is far more work to do before our LGBT friends,
neighbors, parents and children live in a world free of discrimination.
Through steadfast defense of our universal values, persistent engagement
with international partners, and the full force of U.S. efforts under
the law, we will get there. I look forward to continuing our work and
proudly carrying out the President’s directive.

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