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US to use foreign aid, diplomacy to promote civil rights for gay and lesbians abroad
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Obama administration is announcing a wide-ranging effort to use U.S. foreign aid to promote rights for gays and lesbians abroad, including combating attempts by foreign governments to criminalize homosexuality.
In a memorandum issued Tuesday, President Barack Obama directed U.S. agencies working abroad, including the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, to use foreign aid to assist gays and lesbians who are facing human rights violations. And he ordered U.S. agencies to improve protections for gay and lesbian refugees and asylum seekers.
"Our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal," Obama said in the memorandum.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is also expected to speak about the announcements in Geneva later Tuesday.