☷FACT SHEET U S Agencies Are Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World
White House ( By Press Release office)
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We’re… making equality the centerpiece of our diplomacy around the world . We believe LGBTQ+ rights are human rights . In February , I signed a presidential memorandum establishing that it’s the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity . – President Joe BidenToday , the U . S . Government released a first of its kind progress report on implementation of President Biden’s Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World . The progress demonstrates the U . S . commitment to promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBTQI+ people around the world through our diplomacy and foreign assistance . Federal agencies are: Combating Criminalization of LGBTQI+ Status or Conduct Abroad: The Department of State and the U . S . Agency for International Development ( USAID ) , together with U . S . embassies and USAID missions , are taking innovative and bold steps to leverage diplomatic engagement and foreign assistance to promote the human rights of LGBTQI+ people , including through elevating concerns about criminalization of LGBTQI+ status or conduct with local officials , in collaboration with like - minded partners . U . S . embassies and USAID missions also continue to welcome decisions of governments that decriminalize LGBTQI+ status or conduct . As documented in the report , the scope and breadth of U . S . engagement in this critical area continues to increase and strengthen . Protecting Vulnerable LGBTQI+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers: In December 2021 , the Department of State announced a package of new pledges to support LGBTQI+ refugees , including enhanced training for the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees . The Department of State is also working to increase resettlement for LGBTQI+ persons and members of other vulnerable groups through new and expanded referral programs with NGOs and other organizations to the U . S . Refugee Admissions Program . U . S . embassies also continue to support LGBTQI+ refugee needs through highlighting gaps in services and supporting civil society partners . In February , the Department of Homeland Security issued revised guidance to recognize informal same - sex marriages for the purposes of obtaining refugee or asylee status , even if they are not officially recognized by officials in countries of origin . The Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) is providing resources for LGBTQI+ refugees and their allies , including intensive case management for refugees who are vulnerable to discrimination . Ensuring Foreign Assistance Protects Human Rights and Advances Non - discrimination: In FY2021 , the Department of State increased its support to the Global Equality Fund to $10 million annually . The Fund now supports programs in over 100 countries in all global regions . The Department of Health and Human ( HHS ) Services also supported new initiatives to increase access to health services for LGBTQI+ persons , including a new health and resource center for transgender persons in India . USAID released new guidance outlining how to integrate the needs of LGBTQI+ persons into food security and education - related development programming . To advance non - discrimination in foreign assistance , the Department of Labor added new terms , definitions , and requirements related to advancing LGBTQI+ human rights in its guidance for its overseas grant solicitations and contracts , and HHS developed a similar equity appendix for the annual update to the Notice of Funding Award Guidance . The Department of State’s U . S . Fulbright Student and Teacher Programs also updated its applications to include non - binary gender options for the first time . And the Peace Corps undertook steps to recruit more diverse applicants , including by holding a panel on “Translating Transgender Identity Abroad” to specifically recruit transgender applicants . To coordinate these efforts and facilitate resource and experience sharing , USAID convenes a thirteen - agency working group to discuss policy , programming , and inclusive data priorities . Taking Swift and Meaningful Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBTQI+ Persons Abroad: The Department of State’s Global Equality Fund provides emergency funding to LGBTQI+ activists through the Dignity for All program to respond to active human rights violations and crises globally . USAID programs build in flexibility and support for rapid response programming in the countries where they operate . And across the globe , U . S . diplomats and U . S . development professionals are at the forefront of highlighting LGBTQI+ human rights attacks and abuses . For example , in Poland , U . S . Embassy Warsaw supported “Words Matter , ” a video featuring members of the Polish LGBTQI+ community reading and reacting to homophobic comments posted in response to the Embassy’s social media campaign for Pride Month . The “Words Matter” video reached over 12 million Poles and was widely covered by both Polish and international media . In Guatemala , following murders of Guatemalan leaders in the transgender community in June 2021 , U . S . Embassy Guatemala City issued a statement condemning the murders and urging full investigations . Building International Coalitions: At the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee in November , the U . S . - led resolution on democracy and elections included for the first time a call for states to eliminate discrimination in the right to participate in public affairs based on “sexual orientation and gender identity . ” The U . S . Mission to the United Nations led the lobbying campaign to include this important new language . The U . S . also advanced LGBTQI+ human rights together with like - minded partners in the Organizing for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Organization of American States , and in the Equal Rights Coalition , which recently released statements with U . S . support focused on protection of LGBTQI+ persons in Ukraine , and on democracy and LGBTQI+ human rights . Rescinding Inconsistent Polices: This Administration continues to update polices that are inconsistent with the President’s Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World . USAID , for example , reinstated a reporting mechanism to track overall foreign assistance which advances LGBTQI+ human rights and inclusive development . In collaboration with HHS , the Department of State withdrew from the “Geneva Consensus Declaration , ” and requested its removal from the UN document system in February 2021 . The Geneva Consensus Declaration opposes abortion and related reproductive health and rights and is widely viewed as undermining LGBTQI+ human rights . Advancing Inclusive Democracy: During the Summit for Democracy , the U . S . supported a statement from the Equal Rights Coalition on Democracy and LGBTQI+ rights which affirms that promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons is essential for democratic renewal . As part of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal , the State Department also committed up to $5 million to launch the Global LGBTQI+ Inclusive Democracy and Empowerment ( GLIDE ) Fund , a new program under the Global Equality Fund that will facilitate the participation and leadership of LGBTQI+ community members in democratic institutions . Also , during the Summit for Democracy , USAID committed to launch a new Global Development Alliance to support LGBTQI - led civil society organizations to respond to the COVID - 19 crisis , engage in democratic processes , and build networks of allies . USAID intends to commit $5M USD over five - years to this program involving substantial capacity building opportunities and direct grantmaking to LGBTQI+ and transgender - led organizations around the world . Reducing Bias - Motivated Violence: Agencies continue to take steps to reduce bias motivated violence and hate crime targeting LGBTQI+ persons . For example , the Department of Justice , in coordination with the Department of State , has Resident Legal Advisor ( RLA ) programs in Albania , Croatia , Kosovo , and North Macedonia which advance LGBTQI+ human rights and assist foreign counterparts with managing cases , including of including LGBTQI+ individuals . Additionally , the RLA program in the Baltics assists investigators , prosecutors , and judges with investigating , prosecuting , and adjudicating hate crimes , including crimes motivated by a victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation . To strengthen knowledge on patterns of violence , discrimination , and appropriate responses , in September 2021 , the Department of State launched a new partnership with the Library of Congress to evaluate existing academic research for linkages between bias , discrimination , and violence , including against LGBTQI+ persons . The goal is to better understand which criminal justice interventions can prevent escalations in violence . An inter - agency review committee will review the research findings and provide recommendations for future actions . ###
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