President Biden Announces Steps to Make it Easier for LGBTQ+ Ukrainians to Enter United States

by Delphine Luneau

Up to 100,000 People From Ukraine and Other Nations Will Be Allowed to Resettle in U.S., President Announces In Visit to Eastern Europe Amid Russia’s Ongoing Invasion

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — welcomed the announcement today from President Joe Biden that the U.S. will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as substantially increase humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and the region.

“While much remains to be done to ensure the safety of Ukrainians — including LGBTQ+ Ukrainians — fleeing the Russian invasion, these actions from the Biden-Harris administration are welcome steps in the right direction,” said Jean Freedberg, HRC’s Director of Global Partnerships. “While all Ukrainians are deeply affected by the Russian war of aggression, LGBTQ+ people are especially vulnerable because of the disproportionate impact that humanitarian crises and conflict have on already marginalized groups. We call on the Biden Administration to ensure that the increased humanitarian support takes into account these particular vulnerabilities. We also hope that these actions will give energy to rebuilding a broken U.S. immigration system, so that the U.S. will be better situated to help those fleeing Ukraine and other crisis situations, such as Afghanistan, to find safety and refuge in the United States now and in the future."

According to news reports, more than 3 million Ukrainians have fled their homes since their nation was invaded by Russian forces in late February. LGBTQ+ Ukrainians are particularly vulnerable, not least because of the Russian government’s overt hostility toward LGBTQ+ people even within its own borders.

In the past decade, the Putin administration has enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage in the Russian constitution, issued a ban on international adoptions by same-sex couples, and has tolerated the torture and killing of gay men, among other regressive measures.

In the weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration warned that Russian officials had compiled a “kill list” of people to target, including “journalists, activists, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBTQ Ukrainians.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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