Monday, November 30, 2009
Clinton says discrimination hampers HIV/AIDS efforts on eve of World AIDS Day
In extensive remarks on eve of World AIDS Day, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton identified discrimination against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community as a barrier to the fight against HIV/AIDS:
"Obviously, our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it, but also to combat discrimination more broadly. We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide. It is an unacceptable step backwards – (applause) – on behalf of human rights. But it is also a step that undermines the effectiveness of efforts to fight the disease worldwide."
No doubt, she had in mind the discriminatory, oppressive legislation being discussed in Uganda. This legislation would go well beyond criminalizing homosexuality; it would intensify witch-hunts against gay people. Clinton's statement is an important step in putting the breaks on this kind of government-sponsored terror against its own citizens.
Although I would not count on Secretary Clinton having the backing of the Congressman from Tennessee associated the Family/Fellowship, which may be supporting the Uganda discrimination bill, I hope she will have the support of another Chattanoogan, Senator Bob Corker, who sits on the Committee on Foreign Relations.