June 17, 2024

President Biden and Secretary Blinken Reaffirm Commitment to LGBTQI+ Rights on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia

President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participate in the U.S.-Africa Summit Leaders Session on partnering on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 2022. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha
President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participate in the U.S.-Africa Summit Leaders Session on partnering on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 2022. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

The White House/Department of State – President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken issued powerful statements on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, underscoring their commitment to promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals around the world. The statements addressed the progress made, persistent challenges, and the ongoing efforts of the United States to combat discrimination and ensure equality for the LGBTQI+ community.

President Biden’s statement highlighted the importance of treating everyone with dignity and equality, regardless of whom they love or how they identify. He reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to this ongoing work, standing in solidarity with LGBTQI+ people globally. President Biden acknowledged the progress made over the past 30 years, including the removal of homosexuality as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organization. However, he also emphasized the work that remains, with over 60 countries still criminalizing homosexuality and draconian anti-LGBTQI+ legislation under consideration in some places. The President further highlighted the rise in violent attacks on LGBTQI+ individuals and the introduction of discriminatory laws targeting the LGBTQI+ community, particularly youth, within the United States. President Biden outlined the steps his administration has taken to combat these challenges, including signing a Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World and issuing an Executive Order to prevent the use of so-called “conversion therapy.” He also emphasized the engagement of his administration with governments, faith leaders, and communities globally to protect and promote LGBTQI+ rights.

Secretary Blinken’s statement echoed President Biden’s commitment to promoting LGBTQI+ rights, specifically focusing on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). He emphasized that LGBTQI+ individuals are entitled to universal human rights and reaffirmed the United States’ opposition to the harmful practice of “conversion therapy.” Secretary Blinken highlighted the significance of access to evidence-based healthcare without discrimination or stigma, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics. He underscored the United States’ dedication to opposing the criminalization of LGBTQI+ status or conduct and confirmed that conversion therapy practices are inconsistent with U.S. nondiscrimination policies.

Both statements emphasized the importance of international cooperation in the fight against discrimination and violence targeting the LGBTQI+ community. The United States remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding LGBTQI+ rights, working towards a future where all individuals can live with dignity, respect, and equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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