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Presidential Memorandum -- International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons

Presidential Memorandum -- International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons

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Published by: LGBT Asylum News on Dec 06, 2011
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The White HouseOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate ReleaseDecember 06, 2011
Presidential Memorandum --International Initiatives to Advance theHuman Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,and Transgender Persons
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES SUBJECT: International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, andTransgender Persons The 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 violence and discrimination targetingLGBT persons around the world whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beatingcitizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and childrenfor their perceived sexual orientation. That is why I declared before heads of state gatheredat the United Nations, "no country should deny people their rights because of who they love,which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere." Under myAdministration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote thefundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere. Our deep commitment to advancingthe human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools tobear to vigorously advance this goal. By this memorandum I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacyand foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons. Specifically, Idirect the following actions, consistent with applicable law: Section 1. Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or Conduct Abroad. Agencies engagedabroad are directed to strengthen existing efforts to effectively combat the criminalization byforeign governments of LGBT status or conduct and to expand efforts to combat discrimination,homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct. Sec. 2. Protecting Vulnerable LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Those LGBT personswho seek refuge from violence and persecution face daunting challenges. In order toimprove protection for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers at all stages of displacement, theDepartments of State and Homeland Security shall enhance their ongoing efforts to ensurethat LGBT refugees and asylum seekers have equal access to protection and assistance,particularly in countries of first asylum. In addition, the Departments of State, Justice, andHomeland Security shall ensure appropriate training is in place so that relevant FederalGovernment personnel and key partners can effectively address the protection of LGBTrefugees and asylum seekers, including by providing to them adequate assistance and ensuring

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