America’s next president will have quite a task: boosting our international standing.
In an effort to get the ball rolling, Equality Forum asked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton if they would help persuade British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to stay 19-year old Iranian Mehdi Kazemi’s deportation.
Kazemi’s been shuttled back and forth between Britain and The Netherlands as the government decides whether to send him home, where he’ll likely face an execution.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign says they’ve already discussed the matter with Brown and are “encouraged to learn that the deportation order for Mr. Kazemi has been deferred and is now under review.” A staffer also said they will follow the story as it develops. That’s hardly uplifting, but it’s better than nothing.
Barack Obama, meanwhile, offered a far lengthier statement, which Washington Blade helps paraphrase:
Obama’s campaign, the first to respond, said in a statement Monday that the senator “believes that the United States and countries around the world have both a legal and a moral obligation to protect victims of persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Under an Obama administration, the United States will lead by setting a strong example, which includes making clear that asylum for persecuted people is a bedrock principle of American and international law,” says the statement. “Moreover, Obama will exert diplomatic pressure and employ other foreign policy tools to encourage other nations to address human rights abuses and atrocities committed against LGBT men and women.”
John McCain did not offer his support or even a statement. Shocking, right?