Hillary Clinton says there’s an “increasing backlash” against LGBT rights around the world.
She made the remarks on Wednesday to a crowd of about 1,500 in Chicago at the first speaking stop of her tour to promote new memoir Hard Choices.
The book charts her tenure as US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Mrs Clinton said she had learnt of an “increasing backlash” against LGBT communities from her time abroad.
“I began to vigorously protest with governments in many parts of the world,” she said.
Some countries just need to be “brought along”, but others she said: “Are just cynical. Like what Putin’s doing in Russia with all these laws against the LGBT community.
“That is just a cynical political ploy. I’ve gotten into shouting matches with top Russian officials. But I realised unless there was an argument made, a platform created, we wouldn’t have as strong of a case.”
The senior Democrat defended making LGBT rights a key part of her agenda at the State Department.
“We have a long way to go, I don’t want to mislead anybody,” Mrs Clinton said. “This is going to be an ongoing struggle and the United States must be on the front lines.”
Mrs Clinton is widely tipped to make a run for the White House in 2016.