September 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Obama touts gay rights in U.N. speech

President Obama (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

President Obama emphasized the importance of gay rights Wednesday during a speech at the United Nations largely devoted to anti-terrorism and global development issues.

In his speech before the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, Obama included a mention of gay rights in a portion of his speech dedicated to human rights issues.

“No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere,” Obama said.

It’s the first time that a sitting U.S. president has mentioned gay rights in a speech before the full U.N. General Assembly.

Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, praised President Obama for including gay rights in his speech.

“The remarks were historic,” Bromley said. “Never before has a sitting U.S. President spoken so clearly about LGBT rights in a formal address to the full General Assembly. It shows how far we have come.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • i love the POTUS. we have never had such an ally. to his detractors within our community… shame.

  • One of hte things we need is international help re gay equality. From what I read, the reason W, Europe has marriage or CUs in every nation except Italy and greece is that the European courts and the Eurozone require members to have equality under their laws.

    the UN may be seen as tooth less, but getting its support is just another step in progress around the world

  • Obama needs to be voted out in the next elections. He is promoting things like gay “marriage” and stuff which needs to be discouraged instead of promoted.

    • Well, that’s your opinion, but as a gay teen I’m frankly thankful that Obama mentioned gay marriage. I want to be able to get married when I get older. My love doesn’t threaten your love, and my marriage won’t affect your marriage. Or, you know, “marriage”.

      • I’m also a gay teen. I’d love to be able to marry the person I love when I get older, too. Really, it’s nonsensical that two people who love each other shouldn’t be able to marry. People really need to wake up and understand that people, gay or straight, don’t choose their sexual orientation, and therefore don’t choose which gender they fall in love with.

    • What we need is to vote bigoted hate-mongering people like yourself out of this country!

    • It’s called gay “marriage” is called “progress”, sister! Join the bandwagon or get the hell out and go move to your own hate-filled island somewhere far, far away….

    • Oh darling, you’re retarded. He’s talking about human rights, he didn’t say anything about gay marriage because he’s on the fence with that. But you know human rights does include intolerance to hate crimes, such as those based upo racism and homophobia. Wow, no wonder our country is backwards. People like you vote and allow your ignorance to impede the clear judgment of those more influential. Please shut up until you deduce properly next time.

    • F*** ***! Everyone has the right to love who they love. Love is love no matter who it is. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married! Its that simple. It wont start a third world war it wont make heterosexuals gay and it wont make your children gay, the only thing that will happen will be that gay people will get married.

  • Thank sweet baby Jesus for people like Holly discourage union between two individuals who love each other. We should leave it to the straight Americans – they really know how a marriage works. With 50% of their unions failing and 1/3 having extra-marital affairs – I would be ashamed to be under the same category as them. Holly were you encouraged to be straight? Or did it come naturally? Hate to be the one to drag you into our century – but sexual orientation is not a choice.

    • Im Not Completely Sure If Your Supporting Gay Marriage But In Reality Gay Marriage Works Out Better Than Straight Marriages.. [censored]

    • And thank God for people like you “straight Canadian woman”. I think it’s ridiculous that people in this day and age can still even think about, not just telling other people how to live their lives but to go as far as to voice their ignorant opinions and try and deny people their rights just because of what gender they are inevitably drawn to…… To these people I say, “get a life!”. Surely there must be something more important going on in your own little world that can occupy all this free time of yours! To each his own, gay people don’t lobby/protest to deny you of your rights so what are you really getting out of harming other people? And if the Christian agenda is your angle then let me put it to you like this, in the end do you think that God is going to praise you for being mean-spirited to another human being, or is he going to judge you with the same malice you showed them?

  • One may describe Obama’s speech to the U.N. as progress. It is commendable! However, I would like to hear Obama give a speech to these United States of America about “Gay rights dedicated to Human Rights.”

  • LGBT people used to trust Bill Clinton. Then came DOMA and DADT. So no, political innuendo is dead, as far as a way to communicate with regular, non-political people who are NOT politicians, and in fact HATE the way they do “business” (which is to screw it up for business owners and investors, whether Dem or GOP). So if you have something to say then just say it. I’m not going to spend my time trying to decipher a meaning that probably won’t be adhered to anyway. You want the world to protect our human rights? Then say that. No equivocation.

  • Human rights: One nation under God: Equal Rights to all: especially the right to remain silent when being ignorant … All human beings deserve the right to love and be loved… basic rights- like getting married, raising children, working, paying taxes, sounds like human rights.. not straight rights…

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