By JIM KUHNHENN
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says protecting gays from discrimination, abuse and even death is the most challenging international human rights issue facing the United States.
National Security Council adviser Susan Rice tells a White House forum of gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and financial aid promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world.
She says laws limiting gay rights have strong support in some countries. But she says cultural differences do not excuse human rights violations.
Rice spoke Tuesday to religious, human rights, gay and HIV health care advocates at a forum assembled by the White House.
She says it is time for advocates to work together to achieve global change.