Gay rights: The U.S.’s new foreign-policy goal

With some 76 countries now enforcing laws against same-gender sex, the Obama administration has decided to put gay rights high on its list of foreign-policy objectives.

Should the U.S. promote gay rights around the world? asked Sandip Roy in HuffingtonPost​.com. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week announced that the Obama administration would henceforth make it a foreign-policy “priority” to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians, whom she described as an “invisible minority” in many countries, subject to being “arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed.” Clinton said that the administration’s efforts would include million-dollar grants for foreign gay-rights groups, offers of asylum for refugees, and an active policy of putting diplomatic pressure on nations that criminalize homosexual conduct. Some 76 countries now enforce laws against same-gender sex, with punishments including prison, flogging, and death. Some Arab and African leaders may not like that this message is coming from the West, Clinton conceded. But as she pointed out, “Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality.”

The Americans ought to practice what they preach, said Gitau Warigi in the Nairobi, Kenya, Daily Nation. Perhaps Secretary Clinton should have saved her lecture for the 44 states that have refused to legalize same-sex marriage, or for the “rabidly anti-gay evangelical wing of the Republican Party.” In Africa, the majority of citizens do not want to see homosexuality normalized, which is why we have laws banning homosexual behavior. America can preach to us all it likes, but Africa’s response is: “Stuff it.” As well it should be, said Robert Knight in The Washington Times. Sexual behavior has “moral implications,” and U.S. foreign aid should be used to promote our national security—not “to force a radical agenda on the rest of the world.”

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