A few weeks ago, President Barack Obama took a major step forward in the promotion of human rights abroad, an expansion of the vision of former President Jimmy Carter in and out of office since the late 1970s.
Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced early in December that the American government would use all of the tools of American diplomacy, including foreign aid, to promote gay rights around the world.
This includes fighting efforts in other nations to criminalize homosexual conduct, and to abuse or overlook abuse against gay men, lesbians bisexuals, and transgender people.
Hillary Clinton connected gay rights to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by 48 nations after World War II. The goal is to stop nations from making it a crime to be gay.
Several nations have made strides in this regard recently, including South Africa, Colombia, Argentina, Nepal, and Mongolia. Much of Europe and China have taken being gay off the list of legal prohibitions.
But at the same time, many Muslim nations in particular still ban homosexuality and punish and discriminate against gays, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uganda, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia as leading examples.
And of course, Republicans in general attacked the idea of including gay rights as part of a foreign policy vision, and many of the potential nominees for the Presidency make it clear they would like to reverse the progress made in America in recent years.
So the battle for human rights for gays is far from over!