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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Go, Hillary

Your Head Trucker is feeling mighty proud of our Secretary of State today, after making the historic declaration that "gay rights are human rights" before the United Nations yesterday in Geneva. Rachel gives the scoop:

And here's the entire speech, if you want to see and hear it:

Or read the transcipt of this landmark speech here. As Rachel says, it's worth your time.

Also yesterday, President Obama issued a memorandum to federal agencies about the need to use American foreign aid and diplomacy, including granting asylum to gay and lesbians.  Offical text of the memorandum is here.

It warms your Head Trucker's heart to hear these breathtaking statements - I am old enough to remember when homosexual was a word only whispered in public - especially since of late it has been so dispiriting to think about the anti-gay forces at work around the world. Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out says:
The list of countries that recently declared war on sexual minorities include: Russia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Iran, and Zimbabwe. For the contemptible despots who run these underachieving nations, fomenting homophobia makes political sense. By turning homosexuals into bogeymen these rulers can conceal their corruption and appear moral through the blessings of craven clergy. . . .

But today’s actions by the administration and Clinton’s speech were different. The words were spoken with true vision and encrusted in values. There was clarity and passion, and no one was left wondering where our country stood on the rights of LGBT people.

This was one of those times where our nation demonstrated true international leadership and made me incredibly proud to be an American. It was stirring to witness our country act decisively as a force for moral good. There was no patronizing that relegated the LGBT community to the role of liberalism’s unwanted stepchild. There were no carefully crafted and focus grouped code words that sugarcoated the abuses – just the honest truth spoken from the heart. . . .

The stunning events in Geneva mark the moment Barack Obama secured a national LGBT vote for his 2012 re-election campaign. Today we felt hope – but more importantly, we witnessed monumental change.


Of course, some buttheads still don't get it, and probably never will. But oh let's do hope history hurries up and puts them on the shelf before too long.

BTW - your Head Trucker is not old enough to remember this date as a "day that will live in infamy" - no really, I'm not - but he does vividly remember it was exactly five years ago today that the Canadian Parliament voted for the third and final time to affirm equal marriage in that country.  I watched the roll-call vote live, with tears running down my face, as member after member rose to vote on that historic occasion which finally ended all debate on the matter in the True North.

Canada, perhaps even more so than the United States, is a nation of immigrants now, and I was struck by the many different ethnicities represented by various Members of Parliament, from the four corners of the globe.  It seemed to me that this was like a United Nations, joining together people from all over the world to ratify the equal respect and dignity of gay people.  And I will never forget that moment.

So here's to better times for all of us queer people, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and all the fabulous colors of the rainbow.

Update: Be sure to read John Aravosis's excellent post:


Anonymous said...

Amazing, isn't it? It wasn't long ago that visa seekers were asked "are you a communist or a homosexual?" and if they even suspected you to be either you couldn't even visit the US.
good post and I too am proud of my country today.

FDeF said...

My reaction to the speech is all over the place. While I admire Clinton's courage and leadership in making this speech to the nations of the world is is disconcerting to know that not all Americans stand behind those sentiments - not even close.

Conservative leaders are already condemning the Obama administration's initiative. And hate mongers will, no doubt, take this as a call to action - to intensify their hateful speech and even violence.

I only wish Mrs. Clinton was making her comments with the backing of a truly unified America - one that held more universally, and with true conviction, the very values she espoused. Sadly, this is not the case.

I am not sure I want to read or hear some of the commentary that this speech will initiate.

FDeF said...

Hope you don't mind my posting a link to your post.

Russ Manley said...

raulito, yes it is indeed amazing when you remember how different things were when we were in school.

Frank you can link to the Blue Truck anytime; or quote me if you like.

Chekc out the post by John Aravosis that I just added at the bottom of mine here.

Davis said...

It's a huge step for a Secretary of State to make this speech. I am grateful. We have a long way to go but one step at a time.

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