By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

How U.S. respect for LGBT rights influences the world

My friend Susan Ryan-Vollmar has written an important op-ed piece for The Boston Globe about how respect for LGBT rights in the United States has a positive effect on the rest of the world.

Susan recently accompanied the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus to Israel and Turkey. While in Istanbul, government tanks blasted Pride marchers with tear gas and water cannons. It was a harrowing scene, but the chorus itself was able to perform in front of more than 3,000 people — in part because U.S. Consul General Charles Hunter, who’s married to a Turkish man, had made it clear he’d be attending. Susan writes:

The concert in Istanbul was a rare public expression of LGBT culture in the Muslim world. It would not have taken place without Hunter’s intervention. By informing the Turkish government in advance that he would be sitting in the front row, he ensured our safety, and that of the audience. It was one example of many this past June of US-led efforts to celebrate and honor LGBT people around the world by marking LGBT Pride month.

Something to think about as the 2016 presidential campaign gets under way.

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  1. interesting you mention the attack on marchers in Istanbul with water cannons and US respect for LGBT rights. We’ve got a long way to go, including right here in Boston. The often-execrable site Barstool Sports found plenty of humor in it…

    but, of course, things have improved in this country. Let’s hope it spreads elsewhere.

  2. Peter Sullivan

    I think if you have to go all the way to Bar stool sports to be offended, we are doing pretty good in Boston… And why don’t we use water cannons in the US??? they look pretty effective…

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