The United States will begin using foreign aid to promote gay rights abroad, White House officials said on Tuesday.
In addition to foreign aid, the U.S. will use diplomacy to further its stance that gay rights are fully equal to human rights.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered some firm regards about the new initiative.
After comparing the plight of homosexuals to that of women’s rights and racial discrimination, Clinton declared that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
Obama issued a memorandum that the U.S. government would subject a “swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten human rights,” of the homosexual community abroad.
While the new initiative may present some serious implications to countries that reprimand homosexual activity, no countries were specifically mentioned.
However countries of particular concern are Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabia is an ally that enforces Shariah law, which strictly forbids homosexual activity.
A U.S. Department of State report on human rights described specific measurements that are taken upon homosexuals in certain countries.
Under Shariah law in Saudi Arabia the State Department report said, “if two people of the same gender are engaged in sexual activity they can be punished by death or flogging.”
Afghanistan criminalizes homosexual activity but only loosely enforces it according to the State Department report.
It is unclear how exactly a “swift and meaningful response” will be enforced, however.
In addition to this new initiative, the Obama Administration has made substantial progress with the gay rights movement.
Earlier this year the administration was ordered to stop defending a law that defines marriage between a man and a woman.
Military bans on open homosexuality have been effectively repealed.
However, Obama’s position on supporting gay marriage remains unclear after stating his personal views on the issue are “evolving.”