Cicilline, Shaheen Introduce Bill to Protect Global LGBT Community

May 17, 2017

WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced legislation to protect the basic human rights of the international LGBT community.

The Global Respect Act requires the State Department to ban foreigners who have committed or incited gross violations of basic human rights against LGBT individuals from entering the United States. It also directs the State Department to report on these violations and related issues in its annual Human Rights Report.

“The United States and the international community have a responsibility to condemn horrific acts of discrimination and targeted violence against all individuals, including egregious offenses based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Cicilline. “The Global Respect Act will protect the rights of the LGBT community across the globe and uphold America’s commitment to defending basic human rights in all corners of the world.”

“While we’ve seen tremendous progress towards equality in the United States, the LGBT community is still threatened by violence and harassment here at home and around the world,” said Senator Shaheen. “Recent reports of LGBT persecution in Russia and Indonesia are horrifying. No one should live in fear of physical violence or oppression because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Global Respect Act would send a strong message to the international community that those who persecute LGBT individuals are in violation of human rights and are not welcome in the United States.”

72 countries have laws that explicitly outlaw same-sex relations with penalties threatening imprisonment, fines, or, in several instances, even death. Recently, disturbing efforts to target LGBT individuals and their families have passed and been signed into law. In Chechnya, more than 100 men have been arrested and detained over the last two months on suspicion of homosexuality.