The United States is putting nearly 80 countries on notice: If you take away the rights of members of the LGBT community, there are consequences.
In announcing the State Department's annual report on human rights, Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted the persecution of same-sex persons around the world, especially in light of a bill signed by Uganda's president that criminalizes homosexuality.
"These laws contribute to a global trend of growing violence," Kerry said Thursday. "They are a front to every reasonable conscience."
Kerry further called for a world "where professing one's love does not lead to persecution."
Violations against same-sex rights have been a priority for the U.S. in recent years, which particularly came into focus in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russian law "effectively criminalizes public expression and assembly for anyone who would advocate LGBT equality," the State Department report says. The report also goes after other nations for criminalizing same-sex sexual activity in African nations such as Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, and Zambia.
Kerry detailed these violations, along with others seen around world, especially in nations that are superpowers. It's hard for the United States to ignore its strategic relationships with countries such as China and Russia, as both are key players on economic and diplomatic issues. But they are also two of the worst violators of human rights.