US campaign for LGBT rights goes global

US campaign for LGBT rights goes global
US campaign for LGBT rights goes global
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The News Minute| June 28, 2014| 06:15 pm IST

The Obama administration has taken its promotion of LGBT rights global, using its embassies as outposts for the struggle. Gay pride parades are scheduled to be held by US embassies across the world over the weekend.

Presently, the US has five openly gay ambassadors and a sixth nominee who is awaiting confirmation from the Senate. American diplomats are also working to support in countries where the attitude towards the LGBT community is largely hostile.

Ex-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, at a United Nations meeting proclaimed LGBT rights as ‘one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time’. Since 2011, the US State Department has spent 12 million USD on the efforts in over 50 countries through the Global Equality Fund. The Global Equality Fund is an initiative launched to fund efforts of the kind.

However, not everybody is appreciative of the US efforts. Rauda Morcos, a lesbian activist from Palestine terms it as a colonial approach and points out that it did not succeed in the places it was tried in. Morcos adds that this ‘help’ on part of the US is patronizing and unwelcome.

In 2011, the US efforts to promote LGBT rights in Pakistan resulted in a backlash when some groups protested calling it ‘cultural terrorism’.

Moreover, the US’s struggle has not been completed back home. While sexual activity between consenting adults (or adolescents above 16 years of age in some states) of the same sex is legal nationwide, only 19 out of the 50 states recognize same-sex marriages.

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