This needs some international attention and hopefully a vote. Standing in my friend’s kitchen in her 4th story walk-up, I had the pleasure of meeting an engaging thinker. Earlier in the day, I had been frolicking about with a friend when we came upon a campaign table for the President. Naturally we shelled out some money for campaign swag and got some stickers too. Merrily, and some what obliviously, I walked around with a campaign sticker on my shirt for the rest of the day–which as it happens was a conversation starter.
As it turns out, this engaging thinker, Mr. Pérez, wrote an article on advancing gay rights internationally that may be featured in Foreign Affairs magazine with the help of supporters. In the era of social media, apparently even FA wants le peuple to choose its feature (which I suppose is also a creative way of foisting the decision on everyone else, thus escaping any residual messiness). In a piece promoting his article and the vote that FA has called for, Pérez writes:
that some will question the validity of this topic being considered “the stuff of serious foreign affairs.” And judging by some of the comments made about my essay so far, I was right. It is shortsighted to assume that real foreign affairs is limited to discussions of war, territorial disputes, nuclear weapons, terrorism and the like.
We cannot forget that combating anti-gay discrimination touches upon many matters that are also of import to foreign policy: From war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to public health concerns in Botswana, there are many foreign policy implications to antigay discrimination throughout the world that may not be evident to those who conceive of U.S. foreign policy and gay rights as distinct and unrelated concepts. For as the world becomes more diverse and complex, so [too] will foreign affairs matters become more diverse and complex.
In a time when we still haven’t grown beyond this startling word count of antigay speech, perhaps we should all give Mr. Pérez’s article a read and head over to place a vote. After all, if we don’t decide to raise our hands and say, “this is important,” who else will? Certainly not the other tweeters scrolling on that page.
See this article from Hunter College for Mr. Pérez’s “Emerging Equality: Gay Rights as a Priority of U.S. Foreign Policy,” and for voting instructions.