President Obama Issues Agency Directive To Promote International LGBT Rights
President Obama today issued an unprecedented directive that federal agencies should work to promote and protect LGBT rights in foreign countries. The Human Rights Campaign reacts:
The presidential memorandum is the first ever U.S. government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against LGBT people abroad. It directs all government agencies that engage in foreign affairs to promote LGBT human rights globally – including decriminalization of LGBT people and humane treatment of LGBT refugees and those seeking asylum, among other things. “As Americans, we understand that no one should be made a criminal or subject to violence or even death because of who they are, no matter where they live,” said Solmonese. “Today’s actions by President Obama make clear that the United States will not turn a blind eye when governments commit or allow abuses to the human rights of LGBT people.”Chris Geidner examines the memo at Metro Weekly:
Obama's memorandum requires the Department of State to "lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government's swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBT persons abroad." Another portion of the memorandum directs "agencies engaged abroad" to "strengthen the work they have begun and initiate additional efforts" to combat LGBT discrimination and strengthen international policies and programming on LGBT issues.