PRIDE events abound in the month of June, especially here in the nation’s capital. John Kerry has championed LGBT equality for over 30 years, and now as Secretary he is leading the Department’s global fight to promote the human rights of LGBT individuals across the world. Today, Secretary Kerry delivered keynote remarks at the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) Pride event at the State Department. During his speech, the Secretary acknowledged and thanked the governments and organizations that have partnered with the Secretary’s Global Equality Fund. Launched in December 2011, the Fund represents a unique collaboration bridging governments, companies, foundations, and NGOs with the objective of advancing and protecting the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide.
The Fund currently provides critical emergency and long-term assistance in over 25 countries through small grants, capacity-building, and emergency protection. Our staff in U.S. embassies and consulates around the world play a strong role in helping to manage the Global Equality Fund, providing assistance and resources to local communities, as well as oversight to ensure grants are implemented appropriately, maximizing the impact of small investments. For example, the Fund supports regional workshops on legislative advocacy, human rights documentation and monitoring, and other capacity-building activities that strengthen the ability of local organizations to respond to the anti-LGBT legislation recently introduced in a number of eastern European countries. Continue Reading