The GLOBE Act would build a framework into U.S. diplomacy to protect LGBTQ+ human rights worldwide.

In the 116th Congress: H.R. 3874, S. 3004 

The Problem

LGBTQ+ people around the world continue to face discrimination, violence, and bigotry. Sixty-nine 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.

What is the GLOBE Act? 

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 was not filled by the Trump administration. The GLOBE Act would make the position statutory and thereby prevent any 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+ activity 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 improving 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 refuge in the United States, unless they pose a safety threat.

What was the Status of the Bill in the 116th Congress?

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.

What is the Current Status of the Bill?

The GLOBE Act has yet to be reintroduced in the 117th Congress.

For more information, please contact Read about other Federal Legislation pertinent to the LGBTQ+ community here.

Last Updated: March 22, 2021

The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ community.


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