Politics

Biden touts importance of LGBTQ rights in UN speech

President Joe Biden
President Joe BidenPhoto: Shutterstock

In a speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, President Biden championed the importance of LGBTQ rights abroad.

He declared, “The future will be won by those countries that unleash the full potential of their populations, where women and girls can exercise equal rights, including basic reproductive rights, and contribute fully to building stronger economies and more resilient societies; where religious and ethnic minorities can live their lives without harassment and contribute to the fabric of their communities; where the LGBTQ+ community individuals live and love freely without being targeted with violence; where citizens can question and criticize their leaders without fear of reprisal.”

In February 2021, Biden issued a presidential memorandum to protect the rights of LGBTQ people worldwide.

The memorandum established the administration’s commitment to “ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.”

Among other actions, he directed agencies to combat the criminalization of LGBTQ identities, protect LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, and provide foreign assistance to advance nondiscrimination efforts around the world.

A large part of Biden’s speech to the UN focused on condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter — no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force,” he said.

Biden also emphasized the U.S. “vision of a free, open, secure, and prosperous world” where “individuals have the chance to live in dignity and develop their talents.”

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