A more cynical perspective on Team Obama’s announcement that it would scrutinize other nations’ positions on GLBTQ rights when doling out assistance might take into account the upcoming presidential election and the need for President Obama to make up for some shortcomings on that front on his home turf. But whatever the reason, this move, which was to be introduced in the form of a memo on Tuesday, represents an unprecedented development in American foreign policy that also extends into the U.S. government’s approach to granting asylum to persecuted foreigners. –KA


The presidential memorandum is the first ever U.S. government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against LGBT people abroad, the group said – and it represents another White House outreach effort to a core Democratic base constituency.

The measure directs all government agencies that engage in foreign affairs to promote LGBT human rights globally – including decriminalization of LGBT people and humane treatment of LGBT refugees and those seeking asylum, among other things, HRC reported in a statement on the policy shift.

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