Chelsea Clinton eyes global projects, gay rights

Associated Press
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Chelsea Clinton helps Burma villagers access clean water

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Chelsea Clinton said Tuesday she plans to become increasingly involved in the international health projects of her father's foundation and to speak out for gay rights.

The only child of former U.S. President Bill Clinton told The Associated Press during a visit to Malaysia that her focus will be on the Clinton Foundation's work, especially "related to health, not just in the United States but also around the world."

Clinton said on the sidelines of a women's conference in Malaysia's main city that she hopes to return to Southeast Asia, specifically Myanmar, where the foundation will work with authorities to distribute medicine and health products, including HIV drugs and child vaccines, at cheaper prices.

Clinton visited Myanmar earlier this week at the start of initiative to provide water purification packets to areas with unsafe water supplies. Her mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, made a groundbreaking visit to Myanmar in 2011 and helped nudge an elected government toward democratic reforms.

"I hope to go back soon" to Myanmar, Clinton said. "My father and my husband are quite jealous now because my mother and I both have been to the country, and they have not."

From Malaysia, Clinton travels to Cambodia to launch an effort to slash HIV-related infections and deaths.

"My goal is always to do as much as I can in whatever area I'm working in," she said.

She added that besides the Clinton Foundation's initiatives, she was committed to supporting gay rights, including marriage equality.

"It just seems so fundamental to me. I'm able to marry the person I wanted to marry," Clinton said. "That's the fundamental human imperative. Those of us who have been lucky enough should expand these rights to others."

Clinton often tweets messages supportive of gay rights. Earlier this month, she called it "progress" when France's new gay marriage law came into force and urged her followers to help build "an equitable world for all" while marking International Day Against Homophobia.

Clinton laughed off a question about whether all the work would leave her time to start a family with her husband.

"My mother asks me that all the time, and anything my mother asks me is fair game," she said.

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Associated Press writer Sean Yoong contributed to this report.

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