Speaking this week at President Obama’s White House reception held in honour of Pride Month, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said once again that in the Democratic Party’s eyes, gay rights are human rights.

Ms Clinton said, “I was the first First Lady to march in a Pride parade, and it was so much fun. One or two of you marched with me – and I am still grateful to you.”

However, she urged the attendees – who included gay rights activists and members of the State Department – to consider their less fortunate contemporaries around the world.

“Men and women are harassed, beaten, subjected to sexual violence, even killed, because of who they are and whom they love. Some are driven from their homes or countries, and many who become refugees confront new threats in their countries of asylum.

“In some places, violence against the LGBT community is permitted by law and inflamed by public calls to violence. In others, it persists insidiously behind closed doors.”

Ms Clinton added, “These dangers are not ‘gay’ issues’. This is a human rights issue.”

The Secretary of Sate said that her department would continue to advance a comprehensive human rights agenda, including the key issues of elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ms Clinton concluded, “We are elevating our human rights dialogues with other governments and conducting public diplomacy to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.”