Criminalization of Homosexuality
The Trump administration says that it will be launching a campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality internationally. US officials made the announcement in “a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.” The US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, said the the administration is leading the effort, which is expected to kick off Tuesday evening. The Untied States embassy will be bringing in LGBT leaders and activists from Europe for a strategy dinner on ways to pressure countries in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean who continue to penalize homosexuals.
“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.
The urgency to end LGBT discrimination and criminalization comes after Iran put a young man to death for homosexuality.
“This is not the first time the Iranian regime has put a gay man to death with the usual outrageous claims of prostitution, kidnapping, or even pedophilia. And it sadly won’t be the last time,” Grenell wrote. “Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death.”
Despite this, many in the LGBTQ community are wary of the Trump Administration, particularly because it has done nothing to improve conditions for gay people since Donald Trump was elected.
Jeremy Kadden, HRC Senior International Policy Advocate said: “Donald Trump and Mike Pence have turned a blind eye to a campaign of violence and murder targeting LGBTQ people in Chechnya that has stretched on for two years. They have turned away LGBTQ people fleeing violence and persecution and sent them back to countries that criminalize them, and have consistently worked to undermine the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and our families here at home from day one. If this commitment is real, we have a lot of questions about their intentions and commitments, and are eager to see what proof and action will follow.”