Protections for LGBTQI Individuals Go Global

During Pride month, U.S. Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev.) reintroduced legislation that would safeguard the rights of LGBTQI persons worldwide as an element of U.S. foreign policy.

Protections for LGBTQI Individuals Go Global: A celebration in San Francisco after the Supreme Court decided same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits in June 2013
A celebration in San Francisco after the Supreme Court decided same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits in June 2013. (David Goehring / Flickr)

On Wednesday, June 9, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) reintroduced the GLOBE Act to the House of Representatives, alongside Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who presented companion legislation in the Senate.

The GLOBE Act—short for Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality—aims to establish protections for LBGTQI individuals as a key facet of U.S. diplomacy by incorporating these efforts beneath the umbrella of human rights.

While a significant portion of the bill deals in signaling to the international community that the U.S. stands against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, more concretely the bill would create a special envoy for the human rights of LGBTQI Persons within the U.S. State Department, as well as a group within the national government specifically delegated with the task of monitoring and responding to foreign discriminatory practices. The envoy would also assist with this task, as they would be charged with consulting the secretary of state on how the nation should respond to human rights persecutions abroad. 

“The GLOBE Act equips the federal government with the tools and personnel it needs to promote LBGTQI rights around the world and punish regimes that persecute people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Titus.

The change in presidential administration as a cause for new hope, she says. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Secretary Blinken, the United States has the opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by protecting the rights of LGBTQI people at home and abroad.” 

In addition to building bodies into the government, the GLOBE Act also advocates for the implementation of sanctions against individuals who commit discriminatory acts abroad and for these acts to be documented in the annual U.S. Human Rights Report. All U.S. sponsored foreign ambassador and/or aid programs would prohibit anti-LBGTQI intolerance, and all LBGTQI identities would qualify as a social group under which individuals could seek refuge in the U.S. 

Moving forward, the bill must pass through both congressional bodies in order to become an official component of U.S. foreign policy. Until then, Titus said: “No person should suffer from discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.” 

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Khira Hickbottom is an editorial fellow with Ms. magazine and a rising junior student at Tulane University studying English and Africana Studies. Additionally, she is also presently interning at Birthmark Doula Collective doing research surrounding emergency preparedness for infant feeding. Khira loves roller skating, dill pickle chips, and bad reality television.