2011: The year the LGBT agenda was officially adopted as US Foreign Policy by the US Department of State

Posted on | January 6, 2012 by Timothy Herrmann |

OR: “The year the LGBTI lobby officially redefined Human Rights internationally”

Here are the facts:

March 22, 2011
– The United States co-chair’s a meeting of like minded countries that submit a statement titled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). According to the State Department’s website, “the statement garnered the support of 85 countries, including 20 that had never before supported similar statements on the promotion of LGBT persons’ rights.” The statement was read by the Colombian delegation.

June 17, 2011 – The HRC passes a resolution presented by South Africa and sponsored by the United States denouncing all acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on the very last day of the council’s 17th session. The resolution requests that the High Commissioner for Human Rights prepare a report documenting “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”. The report was published during the 2nd week of December and can be found here.

June 30th, 2011
– Partnering with Brazil and other member states, the United States secures the adoption of a resolution condemning the “discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity” during the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).

November 3rd, 2011
– The U.S. works with Brazil behind the scenes with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights during its 143rd session to establish an individual unit on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons in order to “strengthen its capacity to protect their rights.”

December 6th, 2011 – Returning once again to the home of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes clarifies the US position on LGBT rights internationally when, only 4 days before the 63rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she declares that “we must go further and work here and in every region of the world to galvanize more support for the human rights of the LGBT community.”

On the very same day, President Obama issues a presidential memorandum, which has the “same substantive legal effect as an executive order”, titled “Working to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Persons Globally”. The memorandum confirms what has already been suspected throughout the entire year, part of the official foreign policy of the United States of America is to promote LGBT rights as human rights both at home and abroad.

“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.”

President Obama, December 6, 2011

His memorandum directs agencies to:

• Combat the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad.
• Protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
• Leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination.
• Ensure swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad.
• Engage International Organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination.
• Report on progress.

Currently, USAID is now in the process of creating briefs such as the “Human Rights Considerations in Addressing HIV among Men who Have Sex with Men” and funding related programs in accordance with the Presidential directive.



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.


RSS Feed

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Recent Articles

  • Categories

  • Authors