President Biden has stated that our foreign policy would be based on human rights which include the respect for LGBT rights. His Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, went even further by issuing this memorandum on February 4th: “Pursuant to President Biden’s memorandum, the Department of State in coordination with relevant federal agencies will use a broad range of diplomatic and programmatic tools and resources to protect vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers; combat criminalization of individuals on the basis of LGBTQI+ status or conduct; ensure that our diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and advance nondiscrimination; and allow swift U.S. responses to human rights violations and abuses of LGBTQI+ persons.”
Changing cultural and religious attitudes around the world is a thorny issue. It will be one of the most difficult areas of LGBT “liberation” to achieve.
Just announcing this policy has already caused a backlash in several countries. Uganda has sped up and strengthened its “sexual offense law,” for longer terms in jail. And Ghana has cracked down on the opening of an LGBT organization in its capital actually stating the new Biden policy would not be followed.
And while the Biden administration is in negotiations to re-enter the nuclear agreement with Iran, last week a gay man, Alireza Fazeli-Monfared, 20 years old, was beheaded by his own family simply because he was an openly gay man. It’s called an honor killing, and no one was arrested even though the authorities know who did the killing. Being gay dishonors the family in Iran.
It’s not just Africa and the Middle East. Poland and Hungary and even Turkey have stepped up anti LGBT laws and oppressions, and Russia arrests out lesbian artists for no reason. Saudi Arabia’s government has killed and caned gay men, and the Palestinian government has close down TV shows with LGBT TV characters, killed a military member for being gay, and the son of a cleric was told to flee otherwise he’d be the victim of an honor killing by his own father… and the father made that clear in a sermon to all of Palestine.
Want a number? It is illegal to be LGBT in 71 countries around the world. We are not talking marriage equality or non-discrimination. We are talking legal torture, imprisonment and death by either government or even families without prosecution.
The simple sign of an American Embassy in one of those 71 countries flying a Rainbow flag to announce LGBT Pride….. is a big F-ing deal. It’s a simple act that shows people that we do not stand with their anti-LGBT government policies, and it shows that we recognize the decency of LGBT people worldwide.