U.S. to use foreign aid to promote gay rights abroad

“I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world,” Mr. Obama said in the memorandum, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, “whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women and children for their perceived sexual orientation.”

Specifically, Mr. Obama said in the memorandum that the State Department would lead other federal agencies to help ensure that the government provides a “swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights” of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people abroad.

It was not immediately clear whether that would mean a cut-off of American aid to countries that target the gay community, but it suggests that American agencies will have expanded tools to press foreign countries that are found to abuse the rights of gays, lesbians and others.