HRC Partners with State Department to Support LGBT Communities Abroad

by HRC Staff

Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced its newly formed partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Global Equality Fund. Established in 2011 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the fund brings together governments, corporations, foundations, and civil society organizations to work towards a world where LGBT people can live free of violence and discrimination.

“Even as the momentum towards equality in the United States increases, many LGBT people around the world live in constant fear of harassment, discrimination, and violence,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We look forward to working closely with the Global Equality Fund and the incoming special envoy for LGBT human rights to champion the fundamental human rights of LGBT people around the world."

The Global Equality Fund provides critical emergency, short-term, and long-term assistance to advance and protect the human rights of LGBT people in over 50 countries worldwide. Through this partnership, the Human Rights Campaign and the U.S. Department of State will highlight the work of the Fund to new audiences, including those in the private sector.

“Around the world too many LGBT persons and their advocates are targeted and harassed for who they are and the beliefs they hold,” said Tom Malinowski, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights & Labor. “The Global Equality Fund allows us to leverage the funds and reach of companies, governments, and non-profit organizations to provide those under threat with the support they need to continue their work safely. I am proud to announce that our newest partner in this endeavor is the Human Rights Campaign. HRC is renowned for building diverse coalitions of like minded partners to advance the cause of a more just world for all. This new partnership will enable us to support more people in more places and I look forward to working with them to further expand this unique fund.”  

In 2013, HRC launched HRC Global, a new program to help strengthen the global equality movement. The program mobilizes our 1.5 million members in support of global equality campaigns; it joins with LGBT advocates and organizations abroad to support their work through partnerships and leadership development; and it works to build new allies on the global stage.

In 2011 President Obama declared that the “struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights.” The Global Equality Fund and its partners are dedicated to addressing this important challenge. More recently, in the 2015 State of the Union, President Obama explained that protecting individuals, including those who are LGBT, is in the national security interests of the United States.

The situation for LGBT people around the world varies widely, as some countries embrace equality, while in others, LGBT people suffer from discrimination, persecution and violence.

·  Same-sex conduct is criminalized in 76 countries

·  In 10 countries same-sex conduct is punishable by death

·  So-called anti-LGBT “propaganda” laws inhibit LGBT advocacy in three countries

·  Same-sex marriage licenses are issued nationwide in 20 countries

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