Hillay Clinton’s Gay Rights Speech, Geneva – full text.
I think this is great. Great. And correct. And to the nay-sayers demanding that Hillary sorts out the US attitude to LGBT first, how selfish would that be? To make it all fine and dandy for one’s own people before urging other countries to do the same? I don’t think we need to root out all sexism and racism in the UK before we look to encouraging other countries to do the same – if we’d waited to eradicate racism in the UK before urging South Africa to stop apartheid (and even then doing it in a half-hearted way all too often), we’d still be waiting. Of course it’s of value to get one’s own house in order, but concentrating on one’s own house to the exclusion of others is what’s got us into this first world/third world unequal and unfair mess in the first place. I do care about the many other places where the inequalities and problems and (often) heartbreak of how it is to be LGBT in Britain seem small compared to beatings, imprisonment, ‘corrective’ rape, murder, banishment, death sentences. (And yes, of course I know that versions of some of those things still happen here, but not with the state’s blessing and legislation behind them.)
I don’t believe we’ll ever be at a stage in our own nation’s development (and I’m thinking of both my nations – UK and NZ – here) when we can say right, that’s fixed, now we can help those less fortunate than ourselves. Of course I want equal marriage, homophobic bullying of our children and young people to stop, hate crimes to come to an end, fear of coming out to be gone, our LGBT elders to have the care they deserve and need – but I’m not naive enough to think that’s going to happen any day soon. Meanwhile what happens elsewhere DOES matter to those of us lucky enough to be able to look at it, rather than live it.
I am my brother’s – my sibling’s – keeper. I like it that way.