Should U.S. aid be used to promote gay rights abroad?
Supporters take part in an annual gay pride march in Manila, Philippines. Saturday is Human Rights Day.
December 7th, 2011
06:59 PM ET

Should U.S. aid be used to promote gay rights abroad?

Editor's Note: Dr. James M. Lindsay is a Senior Vice President at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy. Visit his blog here and follow him on Twitter

By James M. Lindsay

The Obama administration announced this week that it would use U.S. aid to promote gay rights abroad. President Obama issued a memorandum laying out the new policy, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that “gay rights and human rights are… one and the same.”

Rick Perry was the first GOP presidential candidate to criticize the new policy:

Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money.

But there is a troubling trend here beyond the national security nonsense inherent in this silly idea. This is just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country. Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong.

Rick Santorum quickly followed Perry’s line, complaining that “the administration is promoting their particular agenda in this country, and now they feel it’s their obligation to promote those values not just in the military, not just in our society, but now around the world with taxpayer dollars.” Expect to hear more criticisms in this vein during the upcoming GOP presidential debates. Rick Perry has already released an attack ad in Iowa based on the White House decision.

Yesterday, Jon Huntsman looked to have altered his tone on climate change. He told a gathering at the Heritage Foundation that the “onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation” on climate change.

You might remember that back in August Huntsman took a poke at his GOP rivals when he tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” After an avalanche of news stories and blog posts suggesting that he had flip-flopped, Huntsman told reporters after his speech today to the Republican Jewish Coalition that his views haven’t changed - he believes that science shows that human activity is changing the climate and that action needs to be taken.

The New York Times’s Richard Oppel reports that the GOP presidential candidates are taking aim at Obama’s foreign policy. (Surprise!) Salon’s Jordan Smith thinks Newt Gingrich would be “the scariest commander in chief” because of the “violent grandiosity, faux intellectualism, and missionary zeal” of his foreign policy views. Joshua Keating looks back at Gingrich’s 2003 effort to reform the State.

The views of expressed in this article are solely those of Jim Lindsay.
Post by:
Topics: Aid • Foreign Policy • Sex • United States

soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Dan Davis

    If these people( Obama, Lady Rodham, etc.) wish to spend money on a "gay" rights project in any country let them fund it with their own deep pockets. These liberal "leaders" just flat out stink!

    December 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • James

      So instead, MY tax money should be used to promote discrimination, and government regulations of people's own bodies?

      Liberals gave blacks civil rights, women the right to vote, children protection against sweat shop labor, workers safe working conditions, and YOU the right to not bow to the British Throne or the Nazi flag.

      Remember that when you rant about how bad liberals are.

      December 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  2. Tyler

    We should not give them ANY money. Period. This 3rd world continent is corrupt as it gets and all they do with our tax dollar is wasting them at the first opportunity.

    We also HAVE given money to countries before based on "religious reasons". So NOT giving them any money for human rights abuses is clearly more important. If we must advance religious agendas by giving them money, we can also force them to quit abusing humans by not giving them money. period.

    December 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  3. gl36

    Keep this up Demo's, and this country may just stop paying your high taxes to support the ones that don't work and the ones you want to shove down everybody's throat. It will not take much more.


    December 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • duh


      December 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  4. James

    We don't allow equality here, why should we allow it in other countries. This would would completely collapse if we didn't have people to mock, persecute, assault, and murder. If everyone were treated equally regardless of birth, lifestyle choice, religion, or wealth, the world would simply come to end.

    (for the terminally stupid: this is called sarcasm)

    December 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  5. Bill Duke

    We could make Sandusky our GAY ambassador

    December 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • BE

      He's not gay....he's a pedophile. And based on the fact that he is married, quite likely a straight pedophile.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  6. Yagoalayza

    Exporting Gay Rights? huhmmmm another excuse to invade or bombed another nation? you are not gay enough? Ridcles. Each Civil Right has to be develop by the Citizens of each Country, not impose, not acquire.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  7. glu

    Society has hit a new low, congrats cesspool dwellers.

    December 11, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • BE

      Bigotry, hatred and prejudice is the lowest anybody can go. They are the muck on the bottom of a cesspool.

      December 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  8. eric usa guy and you think we need to send money over seas

    December 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  9. morgan

    As best I can tell, the gay population in the US is 5% or less.

    This proposal would have 95% of Americans financing something they don't agree with.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:01 am | Reply
  10. xab

    It's ok, Perry, no one is asking for special rights.

    Just equal rights.

    So go back to your hickville with your C- Texas education and inability to remember even the basic facts of how our government is structured. No one listens to you anyway.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
  11. canudunk

    ok let me get this straight, we're in a recession, unemployment 8%, trillions in debt and these knucleheads want to hand out aid to them? really? how about aid to heteros? where's my bailout? Hillary and Obama's priorities are warped at best

    December 12, 2011 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • William

      True, I see gays, straights, blacks, whites, hispanics, Indians, poor people, people who lost fortunes and many other Citizens standing in the unemployment line together.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:55 am | Reply
  12. EdwinM

    Being gay and living in one of the most Republican run states, I find this very bothersom. Let's get our priorities, and rights straight in our own country before we try to help others.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:58 am | Reply
  13. Jkinyanjui

    America gives Pakistan a lot of money in Aid. Is Clinton also going to demand Gay rights there?????

    December 12, 2011 at 3:15 am | Reply
  14. HODDER

    It is a shame on Psident Obama to threaten africans governments of promoting gays and lisbians rights in Africa, remember you created by God and not man, and God opposes two men or two women living together as one family. Look, am dissapointed in your adminstration, and my family and i will not vote for you in 2012 Election. You can not force us to do what africans don't want in thier society. Woe unto you.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:37 am | Reply
  15. William

    Lets see, oil prices high, no pipeline and cuts in heating oil subsidies. Home owners underwater yet for the take on one of Obamas $35,000 a head fundraisers could help 100's of homeowners. 20 Billion dollars to green companies that gave the most during his 08 election. Now we are sending aid to countries trying to bribe them to change their established culture to accept gays. The Dollar has declined so much its not worth what it was anyway. They will take the money and laugh at us yet again. Send that aid to Appalachia where community organizers never go and help.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:53 am | Reply
  16. Mary Contrary

    I can't believe this administration! I don't want a dime of my tax money to be used this way. This issue should be getting much more publicity. The American people would surely object. Another reason for regime change in the U.S.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:56 am | Reply
  17. Get Real

    Geez... what a total waste of money. So, now the US should send money to promote marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman.

    December 12, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.