Obama ties USA aid to rights of homosexuals

The United States will begin considering how countries treat gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens when allocating foreign aid, President Obama announced Tuesday.

“I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world,” Obama said in a memorandum. “Whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation.”

Obama also said, “I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”

Among the president’s specific orders:

— Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or Conduct Abroad.

— Protecting Vulnerable LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

— Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and Advance Nondiscrimination.

— Swift and Meaningful U.S. Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBT Persons Abroad.

— Engaging International Organizations in the Fight Against LGBT Discrimination.

— Reporting on Progress. All agencies engaged abroad shall prepare a report within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, and annually thereafter, on their progress toward advancing these initiatives

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