For US gay rights are human rights

This is interesting and far-reaching news, (that has not received much mainstream media coverage). 

The US government has let it be known it will in future use diplomacy and more importantly foreign aid to encourage greater rights and freedom for gays and lesbians in other countries.

Hilary Clinton told an audience of diplomats at the UN in Geneva that "gay rights are human rights".

The US government has sent a memo to government agencies to consider gay rights when making both aid and asylum decisions.

Mrs Clinton also stated that a country's cultural traditions or religious beliefs were not excuses for discrimination.

The US government plans to give approximately $47 billion in aid in 2012 via the State Department and USAID. With a carrot this big who needs a stick?

However, there is a very long way to go, for example Nigeria is seeking to ban same-sex marriages. It also causes a headache for the US government in relation to allies with draconian laws, such as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

Ironically, some US states still have a long way to go with their own employment laws and rights for same-sex couples. Though the US government has a very hard job trying to change some homegrown laws and opinions.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry stated, "promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers' money".

It is probably just as well Mr Perry does not seek to list the gay rights he would repeal if he became president - given his recent debate performance it would be too painful to watch.