Among the specific actions Obama directed overseas agencies to take were to:
• Interfere in the affairs of foreign nations that attempt to criminalize homosexual behavior. Obama directed U.S. officials and agencies working abroad to “strengthen existing efforts to effectively combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBT status or conduct and to expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct.”
• Prioritize the efforts of homosexuals seeking special status. The President directed the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security to ramp up their sensitivity training so that federal officials and agents “can effectively address the protection of LGBT refugees” and “expedite resettlement of highly vulnerable” homosexuals.
• Use U.S. foreign aid to advance the homosexual agenda globally. Dictated the President: “Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development shall enhance their ongoing efforts to ensure regular federal government engagement with governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector in order to build respect for the human rights of LGBT persons.”
• Intrude into perceived human rights abuses of “LGBT persons” abroad. Obama called on the State Department to “lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBT persons abroad.”
• Add American muscle (and money) to international organizations promoting homosexuality in other countries. The President commissioned overseas agencies to step up their partnerships with international groups pushing for special protections for homosexuals, and to broaden those efforts to other nations.
“The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States’ commitment to promoting human rights,” Obama declared in the memorandum. He proudly recalled a United Nations speech in which he exhorted heads of state that “no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.”
In a companion speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “gay rights are human rights,” and reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to a global push for homosexual rights. “Being LGBT does not make you less human,” intoned Clinton, “and that is why gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”
The Associated Press noted that the Obama administration’s latest move dovetails nicely into its “outreach to gays and lesbians, a core Democratic constituency. Since taking office, Obama has advocated for the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members and ordered the administration to stop enforcing a law defining marriage as between one man and one woman.”
The gesture was not lost on domestic homosexual activists and groups, who warmly applauded the latest White House agenda. “Today’s actions by President Obama make clear that the United States will not turn a blind eye when governments commit or allow abuses to the human rights of LGBT people,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign.
Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, another homosexual group, said that Obama’s move represented “one of those times where our nation demonstrated true international leadership and made me incredibly proud to be an American.” Besen gushed that the President’s memo included “no carefully crafted and focus grouped code words that sugarcoated the abuses — just the honest truth spoken from the heart.”
By contrast, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry called the policy “silly” and “out of touch” with American values. “Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money,” Perry said in a statement, arguing that President Obama is “at war with people of faith in this country. Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americans of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong.”
Similarly, Matt Barber of the conservative Liberty Counsel Action called Obama’s policy “offensive,” saying it demonstrated the administration’s arrogant disregard for American values. Barber noted that the President “feels compelled to export the American culture’s decline in morality ... to other nations that are trying to adhere to traditional principles relative to human sexuality.”
Concerning Obama’s expressed concern for human rights, Barber wondered about those locales “where Christians are driven out of the nation or executed?” He noted that “instead of focusing on real human rights abuses, [the President] is trying to force nations to adopt America’s immoral positions on issues of sexuality.”
Peter Sprigg, a policy analyst with the Family Research Council, said that it was “startling that President Obama is prepared to throw the full weight and reputation of the United States behind the promotion overseas of the radical ideology of the sexual revolution. If he did the same on other issues, his own liberal allies would undoubtedly accuse him of cultural imperialism.”
Setting aside the fact that most cultures and nations still consider homosexual behavior aberrant and objectionable, Sprigg noted that the countries making up the United Nations are “sharply divided on the issue of whether special rights should be granted on the basis of sexual conduct, sexual orientation, or gender identity. No treaty or widely accepted international agreement has established homosexual conduct as a human right, yet the Obama administration’s actions seem guided by this fiction.”
In comments to The New American, Peter LaBarbera, founder of the pro-family group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said that Obama’s latest pro-homosexual gambit represents a new pinnacle of presidential arrogance, noting that the administration “is redefining sin as a ‘human right,’ and then forcing that twisted vision on the world.” Added LaBarbera: “Who knew that the ‘City on the Hill’ President Reagan talked of would turn out — under Obama and Hillary — to be Sodom?”
LaBarbera also noted that by linking support for homosexuality to U.S. aid, the President has increased the risk of offending majority Muslim and Christian nations that still adhere to religious traditions that consider homosexual behavior sinful and even criminal. “This new, aggressively ‘in-your-face’ promotion of homosexuality will only alienate America further from Muslim nations that already regard us as morally corrupt,” he said. “What better way to confirm the image of the U.S.A. as the ‘Great Satan’ among people who already despise America’s debased morals than to declare that the United States will now actively promote homosexuality and gender confusion abroad?”
Photo of President Obama: AP Images