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2011lgbt Mem Rel

2011lgbt Mem Rel

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Published by: towleroad on Dec 06, 2011
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THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate Release December 6, 2011December 6, 2011MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIESSUBJECT: International Initiatives to Advance the HumanRights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and TransgenderPersonsThe struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay,bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge,and one that is central to the United States commitment topromoting human rights. I am deeply concerned by the violenceand discrimination targeting LGBT persons around theworld -- whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBTstatus, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pridecelebrations, or killing men, women, and children for theirperceived sexual orientation. That is why I declared beforeheads of state gathered at the United Nations, "no countryshould deny people their rights because of who they love, whichis why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbianseverywhere." Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroadhave already begun taking action to promote the fundamentalhuman rights of LGBT persons everywhere. Our deep commitmentto advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened whenwe as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorouslyadvance this goal.By this memorandum I am directing all agencies engaged abroadto ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promoteand protect the human rights of LGBT persons. Specifically,I direct the following actions, consistent with applicable law:Section 1. Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or ConductAbroad.
Agencies engaged abroad are directed to strengthenexisting efforts to effectively combat the criminalization byforeign governments of LGBT status or conduct and to expandefforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, and intoleranceon the basis of LGBT status or conduct.Sec. 2. Protecting Vulnerable LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers.Those LGBT persons who seek refuge from violence and persecutionface daunting challenges. In order to improve protection forLGBT refugees and asylum seekers at all stages of displacement,the Departments of State and Homeland Security shall enhancetheir ongoing efforts to ensure that LGBT refugees and asylumseekers have equal access to protection and assistance,particularly in countries of first asylum. In addition, theDepartments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security shallensure appropriate training is in place so that relevant FederalGovernment personnel and key partners can effectively addressthe protection of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers, includingby providing to them adequate assistance and ensuring that the
2Federal Government has the ability to identify and expediteresettlement of highly vulnerable persons with urgent protectionneeds.Sec. 3. Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and AdvanceNondiscrimination. Agencies involved with foreign aid,assistance, and development shall enhance their ongoingefforts to ensure regular Federal Government engagement withgovernments, citizens, civil society, and the private sectorin order to build respect for the human rights of LGBT persons.Sec. 4. Swift and Meaningful U.S. Responses to Human RightsAbuses of LGBT Persons Abroad. The Department of Stateshall lead a standing group, with appropriate interagencyrepresentation, to help ensure the Federal Government's swiftand meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten thehuman rights of LGBT persons abroad.Sec. 5. Engaging International Organizations in the FightAgainst LGBT Discrimination.
Multilateral fora andinternational organizations are key vehicles to promote respectfor the human rights of LGBT persons and to bring globalattention to LGBT issues. Building on the State Department'sleadership in this area, agencies engaged abroad shouldstrengthen the work they have begun and initiate additionalefforts in these multilateral fora and organizations to:counter discrimination on the basis of LGBT status; broadenthe number of countries willing to support and defend LGBTissues in the multilateral arena; strengthen the role of civilsociety advocates on behalf of LGBT issues within and throughmultilateral fora; and strengthen the policies and programmingof multilateral institutions on LGBT issues.Sec. 6. Reporting on Progress. All agencies engaged abroadshall prepare a report within 180 days of the date of thismemorandum, and annually thereafter, on their progress towardadvancing these initiatives. All such agencies shall submittheir reports to the Department of State, which will compile areport on the Federal Government's progress in advancing theseinitiatives for transmittal to the President.Sec. 7. Definitions. (a) For the purposes of this memorandum,agencies engaged abroad include the Departments of State, theTreasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Health andHuman Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agencyfor International Development (USAID), the Millennium ChallengeCorporation, the Export-Import Bank, the United States TradeRepresentative, and such other agencies as the President maydesignate.(b) For the purposes of this memorandum, agencies involved withforeign aid, assistance, and development include the Departmentsof State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Health and HumanServices, and Homeland Security, the USAID, the MillenniumChallenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the United StatesTrade Representative, and such other agencies as the Presidentmay designate.This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create anyright or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable atlaw or in equity by any party against the United States, its

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