LGBT activists praise Rice’s appointment to national security adviser

WiG

LGBT rights activists in the United States and human rights advocates elsewhere are praising President Barack Obama’s choice of Susan Rice for national security adviser.

Rice has served as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations.

Obama nominated Samantha Power to succeed Rice as ambassador to the U.N., a post that requires Senate confirmation. The NSA post does not.

At the Council for Global Equality and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission the news of the president’s selections was welcomed.

Representatives there said both women are allies in the campaign for LGBT equality.

Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, said, “We were pleased to honor Ambassador Rice with our Global Equality Award last year in honor of her leadership and stalwart support for LGBT rights at the United Nations. And the announcement today was certainly a double hit, as Samantha Power, who was nominated to take her place and serve as our next U.N. ambassador, has been a great friend of LGBT rights – and of human rights for all – at the White House. We couldn’t think of two stronger LGBT allies in the foreign policy world.”

Jessica Stern, executive director of IGLHRC, said, “Samantha Power has a proven track-record of support for U.S. policies that affirm LGBT rights around the world, including by championing the first-ever strategic approach to LGBT rights in U.S. foreign policy with the 2011 Presidential Memorandum.”

About Susan Rice, Stern said, as ambassador she “has transformed the United States’ engagement with LGBT rights at the U.N., not only by fighting for IGLHRC to receive official U.N. accreditation but by fighting for every LGBT organization to receive the same opportunity. Furthermore, her commitment to the issue resulted in the landmark decision of the UN General Assembly to condemn extrajudicial or arbitrary killings based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, also responded, calling Rice and Power LGBT allies in key foreign policy positions.

“We thank President Obama for naming these two stalwart supports of LGBT rights at home and abroad to key foreign policy positions, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to approve Power’s nomination,” said Brian Moulton, HRC’s legal director.