US To Promote Gay Rights Through Foreign Aid - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

US To Promote Gay Rights Through Foreign Aid

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is going to use foreign aid to promote rights for gays and lesbians in other countries.

In a memorandum issued today, President Barack Obama tells U.S. agencies working in other countries to start using foreign aid to assist gays and lesbians who are facing human rights violations. He's telling those agencies to protect vulnerable gay and lesbian refugees and asylum seekers.

The order applies to the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other agencies.

The effort will include a fight against attempts by foreign governments to criminalize homosexuality.

In a statement, Obama says the struggle to end discrimination against gays is a "global challenge." He says it's "central to the United States' commitment to promoting human rights."

Gay rights groups are praising the order as a significant step to make sure that gays and lesbians are treated equally around the world.

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