Obama tells US soldiers they must combat laws against sodomy around the world

Posted on | December 6, 2011 by Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. |

You read that correctly, today the President of the United States directed US agencies working abroad, including the Defense Department, that they were to “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.”

Note the inclusion of “conduct” and not just sexual orientation or homosexuality. The directive goes well beyond the rights that all homosexual persons rightly posses by nature of their humanity.

The mind reels at the ramifications. For the better part of the last century the US has taken an interventionist posture regarding human rights violations abroad. War crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide remain highly controversial human rights violations for which nations now ponder such intervention, with or without the use of force. It is into such heated but important debates–not to mention the looming trillion dollar defense cuts and readiness challenges as a result of a decade at war in Iraq and Afghanistan–that the president now injects this latest directive to the US military.



Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.


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