04 March 2010

A positive direction for foreign policy?

It looks as though the State Department is gonna look into the state of LGBT rights in Africa.  This is an important step, and it's essential that international human rights law and norms be abided by.  However, I think it's also important that State not move so fast in this area (not likely, really) so that the United States ends up appearing hypocritical.  As I commented at Africa is a Country the other day, the poor and working class experience for LGBT South Africans -- the only country on the continent with progressive laws related to LGBT rights -- isn't necessarily dissimilar from the poor and working class experience for LGBT Americans, and the United States, frankly, has fewer legal protections for LGBT folks than South Africa does.  Thus while I welcome holding other nations accountable for their disregard of human rights, it's concurrently equally important that the same level of accountability be required at home. 

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