News / USA

    US Foreign Policy on Gay Rights Sparks Debate

    US Foreign Policy on Gay Rights Sparks Discussioni
    X
    July 16, 2013 9:52 PM
    The steady growth of support for the gay rights movement and same sex marriage equality within the United States has been accompanied by increased U.S. government support for gay rights around the world. VOA’s Brian Padden reports the U.S. foreign policy to promote equal rights, no matter sexual orientation, has sparked criticism both abroad and at home.
    US Foreign Policy on Gay Rights Sparks Discussion
    Brian Padden
    The steady growth of support for the gay rights movement and same sex marriage equality within the United States has been accompanied by increased U.S. government support for gay rights around the world.  The U.S. foreign policy to promote equal rights, no matter sexual orientation, has sparked criticism both abroad and at home.
     
    Living now in relative freedom and security in New York City, artist and filmmaker Alexander Kargaltsev remembers the harassment and violence he suffered as a gay man in his native Russia.
     
    “I went to the demonstration like gay pride, an attempt of gay pride because it did not happen.  And a few people were arrested and I was beaten by police and I was left laying down bleeding," he said. 
     
    U.S. officials view anti-gay violence as human rights violations and granted Kargaltsev and a number of refugees asylum based on the persecution they faced for their sexual identity.
     
    The United States is also using diplomacy and aid to support gay rights.  Journalist Michael Lavers, with the gay newspaper the Washington Blade, recently participated in a U.S. government-sponsored workshop in Colombia, where he talked to gay and lesbian activists about how to use the media to hold officials accountable.  
     
    “This is not to say the situation in the United States is perfect.  We certainly have our own issues with discrimination and so forth, but folks outside the United States, at least the folks I have spoken to in Colombia and in other places around the world, really look to the United States almost as an example of how to do things right," he said. 
     
    President Obama was in Senegal when the U.S. Supreme Court expanded gay marriage rights.  In Senegal and 38 countries in Africa homosexuality is a crime, and in some countries it is punishable by death.  The president spoke out in favor of same sex marriage.  
     
    “We believe in basic fairness, and what I think yesterday’s ruling signifies is one more step towards ensuring that those basic principles apply to everybody," he said. 
     
    Senegalese President Macky Sall said his Muslim majority country would not change its laws.  
     
    Opponents of same sex marriage in America are also critical of U.S. foreign policy supporting same sex marriage, which is not legal in many U.S. states.  Thomas Peters is with the National Organization for Marriage.
     
    “We do not believe that redefining is the path toward equality.  When you redefine marriage you actually create inequality in society.  And so, on the one hand we can absolutely support gay rights to not be persecuted for their orientation or for their lifestyle, but we also can stand up for marriage, which is what we do," he said. 
     
    Human-rights groups agree that protecting free speech and combating hate violence should be a priority for U.S. foreign policy, but they say supporting equal rights also means supporting the right for same-sex couples to marry.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora