GLOBE Act

116th Congress: H.R. 3874 

The Problem

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people around the world continue to face harassment, violence, and bigotry. Sixty-eight countries criminalize same-sex sexual activity. 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 LGBTI 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 antiLGBTQ human rights violations abroad and require that the U.S. State Department report on antiLGBTQ in its annual Human Rights Report. The GLOBE Act would ensure accountability for antiLGBTQ 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 also 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. 
 
Finally, the GLOBE Act would 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. 

What is the Current Status of the Bill?

The GLOBE Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) on July 22, 2019.  
 

For more information, please contact legislation@hrc.org. Read about other Federal Legislation pertinent to the LGBTQ community here.

Last Updated: October 2, 2019