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June 19, 2013

Kerry Pledges American Leadership on LGBT Rights

Washington, D.C. – In a speech today Secretary of State John Kerry voiced U.S. commitment to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In response, Human Rights First’s Paul LeGendre issued the following statement:

“Secretary Kerry’s speech reflected a deep personal commitment to lead on LGBT rights at home and abroad.  We welcome his leadership ‘to set an example.’ And, as human rights advocates, we commend Secretary Kerry’s willingness to stand with the LGBT community in tough times, a sentiment that has guided his public service for decades. Today, Secretary Kerry voiced the United States’ commitment to stand with LGBT people around the globe who face real and persistent dangers as a result of who they are and who they love. We urge Secretary Kerry to work with the administration to thoroughly integrate the protection of LGBT people into U.S. foreign policy.

“Secretary Kerry understands that advancing LGBT rights also means recognizing the unique challenges and needs of refugees who are LGBT, and he also fully understands the power he has, as a leader, to fight hate crimes against LGBT people.  We look forward to working with him when there is the need to stand up to ‘show people what is appropriate and permissible.’”

Secretary Kerry’s remarks come on the heels of president Obama’s historic speech in Berlin which also exhibited American leadership on LGBT rights.  “We look forward to what this administration can accomplish this term, at this moment in history,” added LeGendre.

For more information, read Human Rights First’s blueprint How to Protect LGBTI Persons around the World from Violence. To speak with LeGendre, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder atbowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323.

We look forward to working with him when there is the need to stand up to ‘show people what is appropriate and permissible.’” Secretary Kerry’s remarks come on the heels of president Obama’s historic speech in Berlin which also exhibited American leadership on LGBT rights.  “We look forward to what this administration can accomplish this term, at this moment in history,” added LeGendre. For more information, read Human Rights First's blueprint How to Protect LGBTI Persons around the World from Violence. To speak with LeGendre, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323.

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