Biden Throws Support Behind Bill H.R 3485, To Protect LGBTQI+ Rights
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Biden Throws Support Behind Bill H.R 3485, To Protect LGBTQI+ Rights

H.R. 3485 – Global Respect Act

The Administration supports passage of H.R. 3485 the Global Respect Act, which would mandate the listing of, and, visa restrictions on foreign persons responsible for or complicit in human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons.  In the face of rising violence targeting LGBTQI+ persons around the world, the Administration recognizes that LGBTQI+ persons face serious and unique threats to their safety due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.  While many countries have made tremendous strides in embracing equality for LGBTQI+ community members, others remain stagnant or, worse, are undertaking steps to further marginalize or harm LGBTQI+ community members. 

To address these threats, the Administration has taken historic actions to accelerate the march toward full LGBTQI+ equality at home and abroad.  The Administration is working to protect the civil rights of all LGBTQI+ persons in the United States, to enable all qualified people– including transgender people – to serve their country in uniform, to promote leadership opportunities for LGBTQI+ people at every level of the Federal government, to advocate for countries to adopt LGBTQI+ friendly policies, to provide full accreditation and fair treatment to same-sex spouses of our diplomatic personnel and family members overseas, and to protect and defend the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world. 

These actions serve to demonstrate that the Administration is a consistent and reliable partner in the fight for equality at home and abroad.  Globally, the Administration’s efforts are guided by the Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World.  To further guide the implementation of the Memorandum, President Biden appointed the Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons and ensured that Pride flags fly at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.  Collectively, these actions demonstrate United States leadership in support of LGBTQI+ human rights around the world.

H.R. 3485 is a bi-partisan bill that would, among other provisions, require the Administration to provide Congress with a list of foreign individuals found responsible for human rights violations against LGBTQI+ persons abroad.  Individuals included on this list would be ineligible for visas to, or entry into, the United States.  While the sentiments reflected in this bill are deeply shared, the Administration urges Congress to ensure that the policies provide appropriate flexibility to act in the national interest.

While this legislation focuses on foreign persons and foreign affairs, the Administration also believes too many LGBTQI+ people across our nation continue facing discrimination and hate, especially LGBTQI+ people of color and transgender people.  Some States are attempting to turn back the clock on equality through passing discriminatory bills that target LGBTQI+ people and families.  

The Administration reaffirms that no one should face discrimination or harassment because of who they are or whom they love.  As President Biden said during his first joint address to Congress, the President has the back of LGBTQI+ people across the country and will continue fighting for full equality for every person in America – including through continuing to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act and providing overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQI+ people and families across the country.   

The Administration looks forward to working with Congress on measures, including this bill, to ensure the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are respected at home and globally.

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