Biden Issues Foreign Policy Memo Focused on LGBTQ Rights

by Brendan Walker

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday February 5, 2021

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden  (Source:Associated Press)

The Biden administration released a historic memo Thursday with the intention of putting a greater focus on promoting LGTBQ rights in U.S. foreign policy matters, NBC reports.

Known as The Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex, the letter instructs American agencies at work abroad to "to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons."

The order calls for a variety of actions abroad to achieve this, including helping to end the prosecution/conviction of same-sex couples in foreign countries, provide further protections for LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, and to work with similarly oriented nations/organizations in the pursuit of these goals.

According to Human Rights Watch, there are currently over 70 countries that charge and prosecute consenting same sex couples, with 8 of those countries authorizing the death penalty in these cases.

"The United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out and standing strong for our most dearly held values," the memo states in reference to this administration's commitment to promoting LGBTQ rights. "It shall be the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world."

In addition to this memorandum, the Biden administration has taken swift measures in order to maintain the President's LGBTQ campaign promises. The memo specifically states that any policies not consistent with its promises be removed, "including those issued from January 20, 2017, to January 20, 2021."

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