5 Global LGBTQ Rights Priorities Idenitified by the Biden Administration
Back in February, President Biden pledged to support LGBTQ+ rights around the world. By signing the “Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World,” the Biden Administration reaffirmed the efforts of both domestic and global LGBTQ+ activists who fight every single day for recognition of their human rights. Included in that memorandum were six LGBTQ rights priorities — directives, really — to federal agencies abroad for further promoting the safety and well-being of queer people globally.
Now, the State Department has announced five priorities for the protection and improvement of international LGBTQ+ rights.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who is the first openly gay State Department spokesperson, explained that a top priority for the Biden Administration is the decriminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations globally. As of now, consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in nearly 70 countries.
Price said: “The United States over the course of years has made some progress, but neither I, nor I think any objective observer, should be satisfied with where we are. There’s a lot more work to do.”
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The other four LGBTQ rights priorities are:
– responding to anti-LGBTQ rights abuses,
– protecting LGBTQ migrants and asylum seekers,
– engaging with international organizations and building coalitions,
– and advancing global nondiscrimination.
Price highlighted the United States’ responsibility in furthering LGBTQ rights around the world, noting:
We have said across the board that one of the pillars of our foreign policy is the recognition that, yes, the United States is the most powerful country on the face of the Earth. We have tremendous sway and influence the world over, but we also recognize that in every challenge in virtually every arena, we will be able to do more, we will be able to be more effective, we’ll be able to be more persuasive and act more decisively when we bring our allies and partners along with us and this administration has put a great deal of emphasis on our alliances, our partnerships, but also those like-minded, as we call them, partners.
It does seem that an emphasis on partnership, understanding and mutual respect is a fundamental part of the Biden Administration’s approach to global LGBTQ rights priorities and issues — qualities the previous administration was notably lacking. With clear, comprehensible goals and set priorities, it’s possible that we are currently closer to a better and safer world for LGBTQ+ folks.