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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

About the Fund

The Global Equality Fund was launched by the U.S. Department of State in December 2011 as a key component of the Obama Administration’s commitment to respond to the critical and global need to support civil society in protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. Funded by governments, foundations, and corporations, and managed by the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, the Global Equality Fund supports programs advancing the human rights of LGBT persons around the world.

Specifically, the Global Equality Fund provides critical emergency, short-term, and long-term assistance to advance and protect the human rights of LGBT persons in over 50 countries worldwide.


  • Small Grants: Leveraging the global reach of U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, local civil society organizations receive direct small grants to undertake short term projects.
  • Emergency Protection: “Dignity for All,” the Fund’s rapid response mechanism, provides emergency and preventive assistance to civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and LGBT persons under physical threat as well as those that experience extreme harassment.
  • Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: The Fund builds the capacity of local and national civil society organizations dedicated to advancing the human rights of LGBT persons by providing long-term technical assistance, in partnership with leading global, regional, and national civil society organizations.


  • Emergency assistance for advocates, civil society organizations, and LGBT persons;
  • Documentation of human rights abuses and advocacy initiatives;
  • Institutional capacity building and development;
  • Preventing and responding to violence;
  • Increasing tolerance and acceptance, including engagement with faith-leaders and communities;
  • Promoting nondiscrimination and nondiscriminatory access to public services, including health; and,
  • Legal reform and access to justice.

The Department continues to pursue partnerships with foreign governments, foundations, and corporations in this important effort. Current Partners of the Fund include: Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the Arcus Foundation, the John D. Evans Foundation, LLH: the Norwegian LGBT Organization, the MAC AIDS Fund, Deloitte LLP, Royal Bank of Canada, Hilton Worldwide, Human Rights Campaign, Out Leadership, and USAID. Please click here if you are interested in partnering to advance the work of the Fund.


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