Monday, April 13, 2009

A Mother, Her Son and a Test of America's New Foreign Policy

In recent months, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have begun cautiously expressing hope that, in addition to recent, hard won victories here at home, we may be on the verge of a little bit of progress abroad, too.

Our community rightly cheered when the Obama administration recently reversed a Bush administration policy and endorsed a United Nations declaration on protecting the world's LGBT people. And we looked on with admiration and pride again as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that she and President Obama intend to stand against anti-gay animus on the world stage, too. Speaking in March to a group of enthusiastic supporters in Brussels, Clinton told the crowd that "Human rights is and always will be one of the pillars of our foreign policy. In particular, persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians is something we take very seriously."

The remark, press outlets reported, brought about wild applause and, for perhaps the first time, sent a clear message to foreign leaders that the United States intends to speak out against anti-gay atrocities abroad. It was, to paraphrase Secretary Clinton's famous words as America's First Lady, intended to put the world on notice that we believe "human rights are gays rights, and gay rights are human rights, too."

But, as noble as the sentiment of both actions were, they gave little comfort to Kathy Gilleran, a mother from upstate New York whose son, Aeryn, has been missing in Austria for more than a year and a half. Because, while Kathy would love to believe that a new day has dawned in diplomatic affairs, she continues to struggle in her heroic efforts to learn the truth about her gay son and continues to meet roadblock after roadblock in her quest to uncover the facts about what happened in Vienna.

Continue reading this post at The Bilerico Project . . .

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