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Civil Society

For democracy to be strong, citizens must be involved.  In keeping with America's support for democracy and human rights, many U.S. embassies offer programs aimed at strengthening civil society in their host countries, particularly where democracy is weak.  LGBT organizations are not often included in those programs, nor are embassies consistently active in finding ways to intersect with the needs and concerns of LGBT-supportive organizations.  Moreover, in some countries, LGBT communities are not permitted the basic rights of association that would allow them to advocate for fair treatment, legal reform or policy change.  Our country should do more to assist in ensuring that civil societies abroad are both strong and inclusive.