Jessica Stern, Executive Director of LGBTQ+ human rights organisation OutRight Action International, has welcomed the announcement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President and Vice-President Elect, believing the outcome of this election has far-reaching implications for LGBTQ+ people globally.
“OutRight has fought to promote the human rights of LGBTQ+ people internationally. Sixty-seven countries continue to criminalise same-sex relations, while only five ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’. In too many places, international standards, which the Trump Administration actively undermined, are the only avenue for the recognition of the human rights of LGBTQ+ people. Even in 2020, there is not one country in the world where LGBTQ+ people live with full safety, rights and dignity.
“OutRight looks forward to working with the Biden/Harris Administration to reestablish respect for LGBTQ+ rights throughout US foreign policy. We will also hold the Biden/Harris Administration accountable for an intersectional human rights agenda that values LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, immigrants, women and other vulnerable groups. Specifically OutRight will look to the new administration to:
- Restore support for and participation in UN agencies and mechanisms, including seeking to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council and the World Health Organisation, and to ratify major human rights treaties from the United Nations and Organisation of American States;
- Renounce the harmful definition of human rights based on ‘natural law’ and ‘natural rights’ used by the Trump Administration’s Commission on Unalienable Rights and reaffirm a commitment to international human rights standards;
- Appoint and resource a Special Envoy on LGBTQ+ rights established under the Obama Administration;
- Remove religious exemptions to US policies;
- Return to an inclusive definition of gender encompassing of all gender identities;
- Revoke the Mexico City Policy and reinstate support for sexual and reproductive health and rights;
- Increase funding from USAID and the US State Department for LGBTQ+ civil society organisations working to promote LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.
“The fight for LGBTQ+ equality is far from over, but this is a new day of hope.”