Politics

Senate Democrats introduce a bill to fight LGBTQ human rights abuses

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Three Democratic senators and one member of Congress just introduced a bill that would require the U.S. to proactively promote LGBTQ rights around the world on International Human Rights Day, which was yesterday.

Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act, a bill that Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced in the House earlier this year.

Related: One of the biggest antigay activists says Trump’s human rights commission is their ‘opportunity’

The bill would require the U.S. government to take action to protect LGBTQ people’s human rights. The State Department would have to document anti-LGBTQ human rights abuses and prevent people who commit egregious abuses from entering the U.S. as a sanction.

The GLOBE Act also makes reforms to the asylum and refugee programs to fight discrimination against and unnecessary detention of LGBTQ asylum-seekers.

Last, the bill would codify the position of Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons in the State Department.

“For the United States to hold true to our commitment to defend the human rights of all people around the world, we must stand with the LGBTQI community in their struggle for recognition and equality everywhere,” said Markey in a prepared statement.

“We cannot stand idle as LGBTQI persons worldwide continue to endure hatred, violence and discrimination.”

He also called out the Trump administration’s commission that will “reevaluate” human rights because, the administration said, some human rights claims are “evil” and should not be honored. The commission was packed with opponents of LGBTQ rights.

“U.S. values call us to be allies, to stand up and protect them, in spite of the Trump administration’s attempts to narrow the government’s human rights focus and exclude LGBTQI individuals,” Markey said.

“As President Trump cozies up to world dictators, defends human rights abusers, turns a blind eye to war crimes, the world is a far more dangerous place,” he continued, according to the Washington Blade. “Trump has made life more dangerous for LGBTQI persons by attempting to erase them from reports, from laws and from public life. We will not allow this to happen.”

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