In platform, Democrats make advancing gay rights abroad part of its foreign policy

By Niraj Warikoo

In a new addition, the 2012 Democratic Party platform makes gay rights a key part of its foreign policy. The platform boasts that Obama has made supporting gay rights part of the U.S. government’s efforts abroad to promote human rights.  It says that “under the Obama administration, American diplomats must raise the issue wherever harassment or abuse (of gays) arises, and they are required to record it in the State Department’s annual report on human rights.” It also says the State Department is now funding gay rights groups. Making gay rights a part of U.S. foreign policy was not mentioned in the 2008 Democratic platform.  Some conservative Christians have raised concerns about the Obama administration’s promotion of gay rights abroad. Michael Voris, the host of a Catholic TV station in metro Detroit, has criticized the State Dept. for holding LGBT events in the Philippines, a majority-Catholic country.  In Pakistan, some Islamic groups protested a LGBT event in Pakistan last year hosted by the U.S. State Dept.

In the Democratic platform, the section on gay rights in foreign policy is headlined “Gay Rights as Human Rights” and comes under a broader section titled “Advancing Universal Values.”

The section on gay rights in foreign policy reads: 

Gay Rights as Human Rights
“Recognizing that gay rights are human rights, the President and his
administration have vowed to actively combat efforts by other nations that criminalize homosexual conduct or ignore abuse. Under the Obama administration, American diplomats must raise the issue wherever harassment or abuse arises, and they are required to record it in the State Department’s annual report on human rights. And the State Department is funding a program that finances gay rights organizations to combat discrimination, violence, and other abuses.”

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