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Task Force honors Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s service at the State Department

February 1, 2013

As Hillary Rodham Clinton ends her last day as secretary of state, the Task Force honors her service and expresses our utmost gratitude for all of her work and achievements in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Clinton has left a legacy of progressive change for LGBT individuals around the world. Throughout her political career and in the Department of State, Clinton continuously emphasized that working to end discrimination and abuses toward all LGBT individuals is a priority.

One of Clinton’s most groundbreaking accomplishments included her December 2011 historic speech made on International Human Rights Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Clinton eloquently and passionately explained that justice and equality for LGBT individuals is a moral imperative for the international community, especially as she announced that the issue holds precedence in US Foreign Policy.

Watch the speech here:

Clinton has shown extraordinary leadership on LGBT rights as secretary of state. The accomplishments she has overseen include:

  • In 2009, she announced that same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats would be now eligible for the same benefits as the diplomat.
  • In June 2010, Clinton added gender identity to the Department of State’s equal employment opportunity statement.
  • The State Department’s Consular Affairs Bureau instituted new regulations on changing gender markers on passports for transgender Americans, increasing access to updated identity documents for transgender individuals.
  • The U.S. passport application forms are now gender neutral, with spaces for applicants to indicate “parent 1” and “parent 2,” rather than relying exclusively on gendered “mother” and “father” designations.
  • In 2012, the Department of State released its 2011 Human Rights Report which provided comprehensive catalogues of discrimination and human rights abuses towards LGBT populations in every country around the world. This record of information serves as a landmark accomplishment in documenting evidence and establishing that LGBT communities are in dire need of protection and equal rights. You can read all references to gender identity and sexual orientation in the report here.
  • To correspond with the data in the Human Rights Report, the State Department issued specific funding for international LGBT rights. For example, Secretary Clinton announced a $3 million Global Equality Fund to support civil society organizations working on LGBT related issues.
  • In 2012, the Refugee Bureau of the State Department has also highlighted the importance of increased need for safety of LGBT refugees. There are current efforts in establishing a faster refugee resettlement process for LGBT human rights defenders who are in immediate need for resettlement and protection.

As the country says goodbye to one and welcomes a new secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton has forever made her mark on LGBT rights. With the tremendous strides in LGBT international rights accomplished under Clinton’s leadership, the Task Force continues to commend her and wishes her the best in her future endeavors.

We look forward to seeing this significant progress in international LGBT human rights continue under Secretary John Kerry’s leadership at the State Department.

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