LGBT tribute to Hillary Clinton on the Fourth of July
US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been honoured with a unique work of art as recognition for her work promoting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
The artwork, a huge American flag with the full text of her speech on gay rights to the United Nations sewn into it, was presented by the Kaleidoscope Trust to mark US Independence Day. The trust is the official charity partner for World Pride in London this week.
Secretary Clinton has also been given a special award by the World Pride board and the Kaleidoscope Trust and has recorded a video message of acceptance to be shown on Thursday.
The US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis Susman, received the flag at the American embassy today (Tuesday). The flag was designed by American artist Sam Gassman and donated to the Kaleidoscope Trust. After World Pride in London this weekend it is expected to return to the United States for display.
Harjeet Johal, deputy Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said: "We were honoured to be asked to be in Geneva to hear Hillary Clinton's inspiring speech in which she said loud and clear that LGBT rights are human rights and human rights are LGBT rights. Now the full text of that speech has been incorporated in this magnificent piece of art. Our thanks go out to Sam Gassman for creating it and, of course, to Hilary Clinton for inspiring it with her leadership on this issue."
On July 4th the flag will be on show at the Houses of Parliament where the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, will be helping to launch a major new campaign, 'Imagine if it were illegal for you to be you'. This campaign will highlight the 78 countries around the world where it is illegal to be gay, including five where the maximum penalty is death.
Sam Gassman said: "I like using great civil rights speeches and combining them with the iconic symbol of a flag in order to reclaim the symbol for everybody. I was excited to make a flag with Secretary Clinton's recent LGBT speech. As a statesperson from the USA, we use her country's flag, but with an equal portion of ever expanding night sky. It is a map with 193 stars for the number of countries in the world. At present, there are 78 named stars in shadow for the 78 remaining countries having poor to terrible gay rights laws. Shirt sleeves and the night sky are common to everyone. Combining meticulous labor, great optimism and much conversation will move us all to embracing the basic human fairness that is owed to every person at their birth. I am glad to help in an effort such as this and thank Kaleidoscope Trust for giving me the opportunity to do it."