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U.S. Congress Passes Act Targeting VISAS for Those Who Abuse Human Rights of LGBTQI People

Melanie Nathan, 02/09/22 Global Respect Act imposes visa-blocking sanctions on foreign persons responsible for or complicit in violating the human rights of individuals due to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics. The President must report and periodically update a list of foreign persons responsible for such human rights violations and apply sanctions accordingly.

The Department of State must designate at least one senior officer who shall be responsible for tracking violence and discrimination against individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics in foreign countries.

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement after the House passed the Global Respect Act:

“Today, the House took a bold step forward in protecting the fundamental rights and dignities of the global LGBTQ community. Passed with a bipartisan vote, the Global Respect Act will ensure that America offers no safe haven to those who violate the human rights of our LGBTQ family, friends and neighbors around the world.

“Tragically, thousands of LGBTQ individuals are subjected to attack, harassment, arrest and murder every year, suffering under state-sanctioned discrimination and an alarming surge of violence. Yet, those responsible all too often act with impunity, never facing consequences for their crimes. The Global Respect Act will help counter that injustice, barring offenders from entering the United States, gathering new data on anti-LGBTQ human rights violations and holding perpetrators accountable, including through additional sanctions.

“America’s foreign policy must be built on our nation’s founding promise of liberty and justice for all, and House Democrats will not rest until that promise is realized for LGBTQ people across the globe. Let us salute Congressman David Cicilline for his tireless work advancing this critical legislation – and for bringing to our Caucus and the Congress a resolute voice for respect, equality and dignity. Now, the Senate must join the House in standing up for human rights around the world and here at home by enacting not only the Global Respect Act, but the House-passed Equality Act as well.” Melanie Nathan of African Human Rights Coalition Notes: "This is important legislation as people who have participated in human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, causing violence, loss of property and many hardships must now face the consequences of their actions. The abuse, especially from countries that criminalize sexuality, goes unpunished and forces LGBTQI people to seek refuge and asylum. Many countries that criminalize LGBTQI people argue that the U.S. should stay out of their business and right to sovereignty. Now our law will speak, and after full passage, will prevent those people from entering our borders where LGBTQI people enjoy protection of the law and measures of equality. Anyone who fails to respect our laws pertaining to sexuality should not be welcome on our soil. This is a good start. As an organization which deals with the tragedy of LGBTQI people in forced displacement, we will be the first to report names to the U.S. State department from each and every story of abuse we receive. We already have a long list. Let us hope that this extends to the parliamentarians, presidents and government officials who prop up the abuse in criminalizing countries. Because the chances are good that this could have a backlash affect on those LGBTQI people who are suffering around the globe, it is critical that our Congress and Government look at enhancing pathways and reforming the displacement trajectory, specifically for LGBTQI people seeking refuge."

Lets start with Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to be banned from U.S. Soil! Time is up!


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