“As Secretary, I join with my colleagues at our embassies, consulates and USAID missions around the world in saying no matter where you are and no matter who you love, we stand with you.”
-- Secretary of State John Kerry
The U.S. Department of State champions the protection of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals worldwide as an Obama Administration foreign policy priority. By supporting the inherent dignity of each person, the United States leads by example and advances our values.
LGBT Rights a Foreign Policy Cornerstone
Advancing equality for LGBT persons is fundamental to promoting democracy and human rights throughout the world. Inclusive societies are better international partners and better neighbors.
The State Department uses a wide range of diplomatic and assistance tools to press for the elimination of violence and discrimination against LGBT persons worldwide:
The Global Equality Fund
The Department launched the Global Equality Fund (GEF) in December 2011 to advance the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide. In partnership with a number of countries, corporations, and foundations, the GEF has funded emergency and long-term programs to protect the human rights of LGBT persons in over 25 countries. The Fund provides human rights defenders with legal representation, security, and, when necessary, relocation support.
Since 2010, the Department has provided critical assistance to more than 70 LGBT defenders and advocates around the world.
Consular and Travel Assistance
Department Personnel Policy
The State Department announced extension of the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service staff serving abroad.