American Jewish World Service Says Bill Sets “the Gold Standard”
In response to the introduction of the Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act of 2019 in the U.S. Senate, AJWS Director of Government Affairs Rori Kramer released this statement:
“American Jewish World Service (AJWS) applauds lawmakers in the Senate for introducing powerful legislation on international human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.
Tragically, the Trump Administration has abdicated our country’s responsibility to protect sexual health and rights for women, girls, and LGBTI communities, from the dangerous and unnecessary establishment of the Commission on Unalienable Rights to efforts to remove the word “gender” from international human rights documents. Conversely, the Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act of 2019 bill sets the gold standard of an inclusive U.S. foreign policy that centers these rights.
The GLOBE Act of 2019 rightly underscores the wide-ranging nature of LGBTI needs in U.S. foreign policy, including global health, foreign aid, multilateral diplomacy, and asylum and immigration. It promotes a vision of justice for LGBTI people who have been marginalized and criminalized by their governments.
In addition to expediting asylum claims for those fleeing persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics, the GLOBE Act supports some of the core foreign assistance tools that the U.S. Government uses to support LGBTI human rights groups abroad, including the Global Equality Fund. To further uphold LGBTI rights abroad, the legislation promotes the protection of LGBTI populations from violence, including medically unnecessary interventions performed on intersex individuals. The GLOBE Act also eliminates obstacles for people to access HIV treatment, including ensuring a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention in U.S. global health assistance. It repeals the anti-prostitution loyalty oath, a statue that restricts HIV funding for service providers abroad that advocate for the decriminalization of sex work, detrimentally impacting the rights of those in the LGBTI community.
AJWS supports people worldwide whose rights have been disregarded by their governments and demeaned by their societies. Our own history reminds us of the injustice that marginalized communities face – often simply because of their identity.
We applaud Senator Markey and his colleagues’ brave work demanding a return to a U.S. foreign policy agenda that supports human rights. We call on the Senate to endorse this legislation and related bills, such as the repeal of the draconian global gag rule, that affect the lives of the most marginalized communities across the globe.”
About the human rights work of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
AJWS funds LGBTI human rights groups in 19 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and mobilizes the American Jewish community to advocate for U.S. policies that support human rights abroad. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all.
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David L. Marcus