Legislation would counteract Trump efforts to ignore plight of LGBTI persons around the world, as the administration declines to fill position of State Dept. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons


Washington (December 10, 2019) – Today, as the United Nations commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), members of the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced new legislation that presents a comprehensive vision for U.S. leadership on the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights globally. The Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act affirms that the United States promotes equality and justice in its foreign policy; that hatred and violence against LGBTI persons will not be tolerated by the United States; and that the United States government believes LGBTI rights are human rights.


“We must recommit the United States to the defense of human rights globally. We must reorient our human rights foreign policy to be in line with U.S. values,” said Senator Markey. “With the GLOBE Act, we reaffirm the United States’ lead role as protectors and defenders of LGBTI rights, because LGBTI rights are human rights. American values call us to be allies, to stand up and protect LGBTI individuals, in spite of the Trump administration’s attempts to narrow the government’s human rights focus and exclude this community. I thank Senators Shaheen and Merkley for their partnership in this legislation, and I pledge to continuing fighting until LGBTI individuals have the human rights to which they are entitled.” 


“No one should ever have to live in fear of violence or oppression because of their sexual orientation or identity. Whenever the rights of the LGBTI community are threatened, the United States needs to stand up and hold those who are persecuting LGBTI individuals accountable for their actions,” said Senator Shaheen.  “The GLOBE Act sends a strong message to the international community – LGBTI rights are human rights, and the United States will continue to defend those rights.”

“We are living in a moment where threats to our LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors are coming from the White House and governments around the world,” said Senator Merkley. “That’s completely unacceptable. Every person—regardless of who they are or whom they love—has the right to be treated with decency and respect. That’s why I’m urging my colleagues to join us in passing the GLOBE Act, to send a clear message that the United States is committed to defending those rights for the American people and for people around the world.”


A copy of the GLOBE Act can be found HERE


The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Bernard Sanders (D-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).


Specifically, the GLOBE Act:

  • Codifies the State Department Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons in law;
  • Requires the State Department to document human rights abuses and discrimination against LGBTI people around the world;
  • Restricts entry into the United States for foreign individuals responsible for abuse and murder of LGBTI populations;
  • Ensures fair access to asylum and refugee programs for LGBTI individuals;
  • Engages with international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank, to protect international LGBTI rights; and
  • Protects the rights of U.S. LGBTI citizens serving their countries overseas at diplomatic and consular posts.


“As the State Department under Secretary Pompeo is creating a hierarchy of human rights with religious freedom as their sole priority, we fear that their true intention is to alienate the rights of LGBTI people,” said Chair of the Council for Global Equality Mark Bromley. “The GLOBE Act is a remedy to that dangerous, ideological shift in our nation’s long-standing human rights policy.”

“While the Trump-Pence White House refuses to speak out against anti-LGBTQ attacks worldwide, it is essential that the U.S. Congress defend the human rights and protections of all people — including LGBTQ people,” said Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “With the introduction of this legislation, Congress sends an important message that U.S. leaders remain committed to advancing human rights around the globe. We thank Senator Markey for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ people worldwide.” 


This legislation is endorsed by The Council for Global Equality and its 30 organizational members, including: American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Amnesty International-USA, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Center for American Progress, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), The Fellowship Global, GLAAD, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Global Justice Institute, Heartland Alliance International, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Women’s Health Coalition, Immigration Equality Action Fund, interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth, Los Angeles LGBT Community Center, MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), OutRight Action International; PFLAG National, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Synergia Initiatives for Human Rights.