Obama tells Leno: Persecution of LGBT people violates basic morality
President Barack Obama on Tuesday night condemned Russia and some African countries for persecuting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
“I’ve been very clear that when it comes to universal rights, when it comes to people’s basic freedoms, that whether you are discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country,” he said on NBC’s The Tonight Show with host Jay Leno. “And I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”
“Now, what’s happening in Russia is not unique,” Obama continued. “When I traveled to Africa, there were some countries that are doing a lot of good things for their people, who we’re working with and helping on development issues, but in some cases have persecuted gays and lesbians.”
“And it makes for some uncomfortable press conferences sometimes. But one of the things that I think is very important for me to speak out on is making sure that people are treated fairly and justly, because that’s what we stand for. And I believe that that’s a precept that’s not unique to America, that’s something that should apply everywhere.”
Watch video, courtesy of NBC, below: