In all countries, we support the passage of laws that continue to extend rights and responsibilities to LGBT citizens. In some countries, homosexuality is outlawed, or carries criminal penalties, and police arbitrarily arrest or detain individuals even on the suspicion of being homosexual. Even where laws criminalizing homosexuality are rarely enforced, they may be used to harass, extort money or otherwise degrade the lives of LGBT individuals. In many countries, LGBT citizens are denied equal access to employment, education, housing or health care, and often even their basic rights of association are denied. The Council for Global Equality wants our government to promote fair, just treatment of LGBT individuals everywhere.
A number of actions could strengthen America's image in this regard. U.S. embassies must speak out against these human rights violations, both behind closed doors and in appropriate public fora. Our legal advisers in our embassies abroad should help foreign governments rewrite discriminatory laws, recognizing that here in the United States our own government is undertaking an equally important process of law reform to extend full civil rights protections to LGBT Americans. The United States can do more to connect LGBT communities with the legal help they need in fighting discriminatory treatment.