Media Note: Decriminalizing Sexual Orientation

UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
OFFICE OF PRESS AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 19, 2019

Yesterday U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, joined by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, hosted the side event: “Decriminalizing Homosexuality in Solidarity with LGBTQ People” at the United Nations. At the event, panelists discussed the current status of efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in at least 69 countries. Panelists included U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Robert Destro; Puerto Rico’s Chief Justice, the Honorable Ms. Maite Oronoz Rodríguez; Stuart Milk, Executive Director of the Harvey Milk Foundation; Reverend Johnnie Moore, Commissioner for the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom; and Mr. Hadi Damien, an LGBTQ activist from Lebanon.

As President Trump stated during his General Assembly address in September:

As we defend American values, we affirm the right of all people to live in dignity. For this reason, my administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality, and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail, or execute individuals based upon sexual orientation.

Yesterday’s discussion underscored the United States’ commitment to the principle that all governments must respect the equality and human dignity of each person under their jurisdiction, regardless of sexual orientation.

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