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US Leadership to Advance Equality for LGBT People Abroad

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Samantha Power

Yesterday Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Member, Samantha Power, wrote a piece for the White House blog as part of Human Rights Week. As we fight for full equality at home, it is important to remember the daily struggle for safety and survival that many LGBT people face throughout the world. And it is heartening to see the United States prioritizing LGBT rights as human rights globally.

Several of the Administration’s accomplishments mentioned in the post — written guidance for asylum and refugee officers on LGBT issues; mandatory training of all asylum and refugee officers on LGBT issues; written guidance recognizing LGBT families for prosecutorial discretion in removal proceedings; and including LGBT identity as a factor in assessing risk to immigrant detainees as they are taken into custody — are issues on which Immigration Equality has been a leading advocate with the Administration. (We’ve also personally trained every new asylum officer hired in the last couple of years.)

Of course, we know all too well, that there is still much work to be done at home on LGBT rights. While the U.S. is one of the global leaders in asylum protections for LGBT people, we lag far behind many countries on basic rights for binational couples and families. Likewise, while it is important to see awareness of LGBT issues in the area of detention, the bottom line is that people who violate civil immigration rules should not be held in prison-like conditions at all.  We are thankful to the commitment the Administration has shown to equality abroad, and Immigration Equality will continue to fight every day until we achieve full equality for LGBT people at home.


8 Responses to US Leadership to Advance Equality for LGBT People Abroad

  1. Ralph says:

    Sounds good if only the Administration would walk as it talks. Binational couple are still unable to apply for visas for their partners as families.

  2. Bruce says:

    Unless they are diplomats with the State Dept. or from a foreign country in the US.

  3. Bruce says:

    Has Immigration Equality ever considered asking for benefits for registered domestic partners?

  4. Paul Sobrie says:

    Calling for solidarity with the LGBT population in countries where there’s worse discrimination in the US is a reasonable request. Calling for the US-leadership on the matter is plain arrogance. And the bi-national couples issue is not really the only discrimination in this country! Marriage and all the hundreds of other privileges it brings is only one discrimination. No protection for all sorts of discrimination on all other level (work, housing…) and just go on! Protection against sexual preference discrimination should just be in the constitution, as it is in so many other countries! Until then, the US is not in the position of pleading for any leadership on the matter at all. There’s many other countries that are in a better position, be them small, so what? Mine for example. Gay discrimination is forbidden by law, gay marriage allowed for over a decade, same-sex bi-national couple immigration facilities exist since 2 decades, yes, TWO. Our Prime Minister is openly gay. Really, SIT DOWN AMERICA. Get your own sidewalk cleaned before you belittle other countries, even if the situation is much worse, you have NO authority to say whatsoever.

  5. Ralph says:

    Good news two more Republican senators join Susan Collins in support for UAFA. Congress must be relentlessly urged to pass UAFA.

  6. Ralph says:

    More good news:
    Republicans Urged to Drop $2 Million DOMA Defense

  7. Matumbo says:

    US advocating for LGBT’s abroad just a laughing matter when your own here in the US are being denied basic rights to stay with our loved ones, Such hypocrites !! Congress should not be using our money to defend DOMA, maybe that’s one of the cuts that could be added to avoid the fiscal Cliff.

  8. Ralph says:

    I totally agree.

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