GLOBE ACT Reintroduced in Congress

June 9, 2021 — Senator Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Shaheen (D-N.H.), Senator Merkley (D-Ore.), and Representative Titus (NV-01), all champions of LGBTQI equality and members of foreign affairs committees in Congress, introduced the GLOBE Act (Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality) in both the House and Senate this week. The bill has strong support, with 23 cosponsors in the Senate, 102 cosponsors in the House, and the endorsement of 36 leading human rights organizations.

This comprehensive “vision bill” provides a broad roadmap for U.S. leadership to advance the human rights of LGBTQI and other vulnerable minority communities around the world. Upon introduction, Rep. Titus noted: “The GLOBE Act equips the federal government with the tools and personnel it needs to promote LGBTQI rights around the world and punish regimes that persecute people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”  

Senator Markey emphasized that: “LGBTQI rights are human rights, and we must take further steps to ensure that equality, justice, and non-discrimination policies are embedded throughout our foreign policy. President Biden and Secretary Blinken have committed to making the protection of human rights a key pillar of our work abroad, and I look forward to working with them to ensure these rights are extended to all people, no matter who they are or who they love, first and foremost by a swift appointment of the Special Envoy for LGBTQI Rights.”

Over the past decade, the State Department’s annual country human rights reports have documented — with unsettling consistency — abuses, discrimination and exclusion directed against LGBTQI people for no reason but their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.  The GLOBE Act would tackle these indignities by directing that an array of U.S. diplomatic and development tools be deployed toward them.  It equally would ensure that the U.S. Government stand with its LGBTQI employees when they are assigned abroad in support of American interests.

The timing of this landmark bill could not be of greater import.  After the Trump Administration cold-shouldered human rights by embracing dictators, shuttering our refugee program, and withdrawing from human rights institutions, the Biden Administration needs these tools to “build back better” and to advance President Biden’s directive to support the human rights of LGBTQI communities around the world.

Republican support at the bill’s introduction is lacking.  We expected more of a party that once stood for the very freedoms and opportunities the bill would enhance, and we call on Republican members to recommit to human rights leadership.  In the meantime, we salute the Congressional champions who have cosponsored the GLOBE Act in the 117th Congress.

Read the full Senate press release here and the House press release here. The full text of the bill can be found here and an outline of the bill here.

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