An example of brazen hypocrisy

In a brazen display of hypocrisy, Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton addressed the United Nations Dec. 6
calling discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual
and transgender people “one of the remaining human rights
challenges of our time.” She went on to say: “Gay rights are
human rights, and human rights are gay rights. It is [a] violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of
their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural
norms about how men and women should look or behave. It
is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to
be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished.”

It was while Hillary Clinton reigned as ”first lady” that her
husband, then President Bill Clinton, signed the
homophobic “Defense of Marriage Act” into federal law, denying
same-sex couples legal protection or recognition of their

Also during the Clintons’ tenure in the White House, the infamous
and now defunct “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was enshrined in
the military, codifying anti-gay discrimination in the armed

John Nagenda, a senior adviser to Uganda’s
President Yoweri Museveni, put it in a
nutshell, “I’m amazed she’s not looking to her own country and
lecturing them first.”

The State Department timed the announcement to
coincide with this year’s International Human Rights Day.
But the U.S. lags far behind other countries in its equitable
treatment of LGBT people. In the United States, at the federal level,
there is no recognition of same-sex unions and no laws forbidding
employment discrimination against LGBT people. It was not until 2003
that laws in the United States making it illegal to simply be LGBT
were struck down. In contrast, South Africa enshrined LGBT equality
in its post-apartheid constitution in 1994.

Same-sex marriage is permitted or recognized in a number of
countries, including Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Belgium, but
not in the United States.

In bringing this message to a worldwide audience,
the U.S. is posing as a defender of LGBT
rights on the international arena. In reality, this initiative is an
underhanded acknowledgement of the decades of struggle waged by the
LGBT community and its allies to overcome obstacles created and
enforced by the U.S. ruling class and its government.

That LGBT equality has been raised as an
international human rights issue represents a victory for working
people. But it is a victory that LGBT people and their allies have
won through their own tireless efforts, without the help of
capitalist politicians or imperialist diplomats.

It would appear that in highlighting gay rights, Clinton and the
class she represents are seeking to use the issue as a club to target
governments that do not toe the imperialist line in some way. It also
appears that this new foreign policy initiative is conveniently timed
with the election season in an effort to rally LGBT voters behind
President Obama in his re-election bid.

The Democrats, like the Republicans, work for—and in—the class
interests of the 1 percent. By posing as the defenders of LGBT
rights, and periodically making minor concessions to the movement,
the Democratic Party attempts to sidetrack the struggle and channel
its energy into ruling-class politics. We need a party that fights
for our rights, not one that hypocritically uses our issues for its
own ends.

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