Post submitted by former Senior International Policy Advocate Jeremy Kadden
While the Trump-Pence White House continues to turn its back on human rights, particularly those pertaining to LGBTQ people both at home and abroad, HRC praises members of Congress who continue to demonstrate bold leadership in prioritizing LGBTQ equality around the world.
On Tuesday, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced the Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality Act, a bill that would address a wide array of policy areas key to improving the lives of LGBTQ people around the globe. It is similar to a bill Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) introduced in the House in July.
Key provisions of the GLOBE Act include:
- Creating a permanent special envoy for LGBTQ human rights at the U.S. State Department;
- Establishing an interagency group within the U.S. government tasked with responding to attacks on LGBTQ people outside the U.S.;
- Authorizing sanctions against those who commit anti-LGBTQ human rights violations abroad and requiring that the U.S. State Department report on those violations in its annual human rights report;
- Codifying a non-discrimination policy in all U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure inclusion of LGBTQ people in all U.S. funded programs; and
- Permanently establishing LGBTQ identities as a “social group” for the purposes of claiming asylum in the U.S.
“We must recommit the United States to the defense of human rights globally. We must reorient our human rights foreign policy to be in line with U.S. values,” Markey said in a press release. “With the GLOBE Act, we reaffirm the United States’ lead role as protectors and defenders of LGBTI rights, because LGBTI rights are human rights. American values call us to be allies, to stand up and protect LGBTI individuals, in spite of the Trump administration’s attempts to narrow the government’s human rights focus and exclude this community. I thank Senators Shaheen and Merkley for their partnership in this legislation, and I pledge to continuing fighting until LGBTI individuals have the human rights to which they are entitled.”
HRC welcomes the introduction of this vital legislation, led by our coalition partners at the Council for Global Equality and other council members and allied organizations.
“While the Trump-Pence White House refuses to speak out against anti-LGBTQ attacks worldwide, it is essential that the U.S. Congress defend the human rights and protections of all people -- including LGBTQ people,” HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy said. “With the introduction of this legislation, Congress sends an important message that U.S. leaders remain committed to advancing human rights around the globe. We thank Sen. Markey for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ people worldwide.”
HRC will continue to work with Congress to champion these and other pieces of critical international legislation to safeguard protections and advance equality for LGBTQ people here at home and around the world.
For more information, visit hrc.org/Global.