It Gets Better

On December 10 - International Human Rights Day - U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice delivered remarks at a major event sponsored by a group of United Nations member states dedicated to promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights. Ambassador Rice used the occasion to join President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and LGBT leaders worldwide in pledging to ensure that It Gets Better. 

Excerpt from remarks delivered by Ambassador Susan E. Rice on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2010:

AS DELIVERED

Let me conclude by saying, as both a public official and a mother, a word about another key area: the bullying and the taunting that our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth sometimes are forced to endure in school and elsewhere. That bullying can range from casual slurs to relentless torment—and in some tragic cases, it has even driven young people to take their own lives. Such bigotry isn’t some normal part of growing up. It’s vicious, and it’s wrong. Every student ought to able to go to school without fear. And so our Administration is working hard on a national anti-bullying strategy. Too many of our kids are hurting, and so we are working to ensure that for young Americans who’ve been picked on or singled out, that it does in fact get better.

Ladies and gentlemen, some still believe that the different ways in which we were made can be used as pretexts to divide us. But I believe deeply in what President Obama calls America’s “patchwork heritage” and that it is a profound source of our strength.

Today as we celebrate the birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we must recall that its drafters insisted that it be truly universal—that its reach encompass each and every human soul. But while those rights are universally held, they are not yet universally enjoyed. We must not rest until the expanding circle of liberty and equality takes in all of us, gay and straight alike. We must all do our part, here at the United Nations and in our own countries, to ensure that no gay man need fear persecution, that no lesbian need fear discrimination, and that no transgender person need fear assault.

It’s a powerful legacy that we celebrate today. And together, we renew our commitment to fight against discrimination in any guise and to embrace diversity in all of its forms. The struggle is not yet over, but I am confident that our victory is assured.

Thank you so much for your continued commitment and your extraordinary leadership.

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[Click here for her full remarks]