The GLOBE Act would build a framework into U.S. diplomacy to protect LGBTQ human rights worldwide.
116th Congress: H.R. 3874, S. 3004
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people around the world continue to face discrimination, violence, and bigotry. Seventy countries criminalize same-sex sexual relations. That means that more than one-third of United Nations Member States criminalize consenting, adult, same-sex sexual relations. In up to ten 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.
Reports from various governments, international bodies, watchdogs, and advocacy organizations have documented hostility toward LGBTQ citizens in every region of the world. These violations include murder, rape, torture, death threats, extortion, imprisonment, and loss of employment and access to health care, as well as restrictions on freedoms of assembly, press, and speech.
The GLOBE Act would build a framework into U.S. diplomacy to protect LGBTQ human rights worldwide. The bill would make preventing and responding to discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community a foreign policy priority and permanently create a Special Envoy within the State Department to advise the Secretary of State on LGBTQ human rights issues. In addition to the permanent Special Envoy at the State Department, the GLOBE Act would establish an interagency group within the U.S. government tasked with responding to attacks on LGBTQ outside the United States, ensuring that the United States acts as a leader in defending LGBTQ equality worldwide.
Although then-Secretary of State John Kerry appointed the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTQ Persons in 2015, that appointment has not been codified into law and has not been filled by the current administration, despite promises to do so. The GLOBE Act would make the position statutory and thereby prevent any current or future Administration from eliminating it.
Additionally, the GLOBE Act would authorize sanctions against individuals who commit anti-LGBTQ human rights violations abroad and require that the U.S. State Department report on anti-LGBTQ in its annual Human Rights Report. The GLOBE Act would ensure accountability for anti-LGBTQ human rights abusers and send a strong message to the LGBTQ community within the United States.
Beyond the borders of the United States, the GLOBE Act would codify a non-discrimination policy in all U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure that U.S. funded programs are fully inclusive of LGBTQ people, preventing U.S. funded discrimination abroad, and helps improve the effectiveness of the PEPFAR program, which combats HIV/AIDS abroad.
The GLOBE Act would also permanently establish LGBTQ identities as a “social group” for the purposes of claiming asylum in the United States, allowing individuals fleeing anti-LGBTQ persecution to seek refuge in the United States. It would also prohibit the government from detaining LGBTQ people seeking safety in the United States, unless they pose a safety threat.
The GLOBE Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) on July 22, 2019. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a similar bill in the Senate on December 10, 2019.
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Last Updated: March 3, 2020