WASHINGTON –?U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and ?Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement for Pride Month 2022:
“As Pride Month 2022 concludes, we not only reaffirm that LGBTQI+ rights are fundamentally human rights, but also our commitment to standing with LGBTQI+ communities around the world in their efforts to advance equality and demand dignity.
"Although there has been hard-won progress - including the recent court ruling in Botswana upholding the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, and marriage equality approved in Chile – LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly under threat globally.
"LGBTQI+ persons face violence and discrimination, stigma and prosecution. We are alarmed by recent violence in Norway and the rising trend of anti-LGBTQI+ measures, including here in the United States, which is damaging to our ability to lead by the power of our example. The Supreme Court’s unconscionable overturning of Roe v. Wade represents a threat to every LGBTQI+ person in the country and is a reminder of the work that remains.
"We applaud the Administration for issuing the 'Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Persons Around the World' and the critical appointments of U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, Jessica Stern, and USAID Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator, Jay Gilliam. Their efforts will be critical in promoting human rights abroad. As Chairs of Congress’ foreign policy committees, we will continue to work toward ending harmful U.S policies like the global gag rule and the Helms Amendment, and ensure that the promotion of LGBTQI+ human rights remain a key pillar of U.S. foreign policy.”