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Senator Markey has made it a priority to ensure that the United States acts as a leader in human rights. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Markey has made it a priority to ensure that the United States acts as a leader in human rights and impose enforceable sanctions on violators. He strongly opposes torture and arbitrary detention. He was the first member of Congress to introduce legislation banning the outsourcing of terror, known as extraordinary rendition. He supports the closure of Guantanamo, and has voted in support of removing restrictions on the ability to transfer cleared detainees. He advocates on behalf of constituents wrongfully-detained overseas, and works to ensure that trade agreements require strong safeguards for human rights and labor rights.

Senator Markey has led the effort to hold the Burmese government accountable for atrocities against the Rohingya and has called for the release of Burmese political prisoners. He has advocated on behalf of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong and helped pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act which reaffirms U.S. commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. He has worked to hold the Chinese government accountable for its horrific human rights abuses of the Uyghurs and passed a bipartisan resolution to condemn the human rights abuses in the Philippines, including the detention of journalists who are critical of the Duterte government.


Throughout his career, Senator Markey has been proud to stand up for equality for all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. He has consistently stood with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community through some of the biggest fights for global equality. 
Senator Markey has co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in every Congress it has been introduced. ENDA would ban discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace, a crucial protection that is not currently guaranteed nationwide. He was proud to vote in support of ENDA when the Senate passed the bill on November 7, 2013.  When Senator Markey was a member of the Massachusetts House in the 1970s, he stood alongside Barney Frank in support of one of the first employment non-discrimination bills in our nation's history. Senator Markey was one of only 67 Members of the House of Representatives to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) when it passed in 1996. Markey has stood up for LGBT immigrant families by co-sponsoring the Uniting American Families Act, which would prevent families from being torn apart simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.As a Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Markey has stood up for international efforts to promote equality for LGBT people around the world. 
Ensuring equal treatment for all people is one of Senator Markey’s top priorities in the United States Senate. He will continue to fight for LGBT equality on all fronts for the years to come.