Human Rights Campaign Commends Biden-Harris Administration for Releasing Report on Efforts to Support Global LGBTQ+ Rights

by Aryn Fields

Groundbreaking Report Identifies Advancements, Challenges for Increasing LGBTQ+ Equality Across All Federal Agencies Working on International Programs

WASHINGTON — Today, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended the release of a report from the Biden-Harris administration that examines the efforts of each federal agency with an international portfolio to advance LGBTQ+ equality around the world. The report points both to the progress that the administration has made, as well as obstacles that agencies face.

We welcome this first-ever effort from the Biden-Harris administration to document our nation’s progress on protecting and promoting LGBTQ+ rights around the world. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the steps the administration has taken to restore LGBTQ+ rights as a central tenet of our U.S. foreign policy goals. Too many LGBTQ+ people around the world are under threat every day, many of them from their own governments. In conflict zones like Ukraine, Afghanistan and more, LGBTQ+ people routinely bear a disproportionate brunt of the horrible effects of violence – violence that in many cases deliberately targets LGBTQ+ populations. HRC is grateful that from Washington, DC to U.S. embassies around the globe, the human rights of LGBTQ+ communities are a priority and that the administration is following through on its promise to support global LGBTQ+ equality.

It is clear that more remains to be done to bolster global LGBTQ+ rights. We hope that this report will spur the administration to adopt and strengthen non-discrimination protections across all of its international agencies, ensure adequate and inclusive funding for LGBTQ+ programs at the State Department and USAID, and rebuild the nation's broken refugee and asylum system."

David Stacy, Human Rights Campaign Director of Government Affairs.

Today’s release is a progress report on a memorandum signed by President Biden in February 2021, shortly after he took office, that laid out steps his administration would take to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people worldwide. LGBTQ+ people around the world continue to face discrimination, violence, and bigotry. Sixty-eight countries -- more than one third of the world’s nations -- criminalize consenting same-sex sexual relations. In up to nine countries, same-sex sexual relations may be punishable by death, and so-called anti-LGBTQ+ “propaganda” laws inhibit LGBTQ+ advocacy in at least three countries.

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