Clinton: Gay rights equal to women's rights
Geneva - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is telling other diplomats that cultural practices or religious tradition are no excuse for discriminating, or worse, against gay people.
Making an unusually strong statement in defence of gay rights, Clinton says they are equal to women's rights and racial equality and should be universal human rights.
She criticised nations that criminalise gay behaviour or tolerate abuse of gay, bisexual or transgendered people, though she did not identify those nations by name.
The Obama administration says it will now make treatment of gays a factor in the awarding of foreign aid.
Clinton's audience in Geneva, home of the United Nations' human rights body, included diplomats from Arab, African and other nations with poor records on gay rights.