Global Respect Act Introduced in the Senate
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today urged Congress to support the passage of the Global Respect Act, a bill that would direct the State Department to report gross violations of basic human rights against LGBT individuals in its annual Human Rights Report and to ban foreigners who have committed or incited these violations from entering the United States. The bill was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
“We welcome the introduction of the Global Respect Act in the Senate. This legislation represents a strong U.S. commitment to protecting the human rights of LGBT people globally,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “We hope that the senators’ colleagues will follow their leadership and support swift passage of this important bill.”
The Global Respect Act was first introduced in the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress by Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), and was reintroduced in the current session. This is the first time the legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
“The Global Respect Act would send a strong message to the international community and a stern warning to those who persecute LGBT individuals that the United States will continue to defend human rights,” said Senator Shaheen.
The Global Respect Act calls for the Department of State to:
- Send Congress biannually a list of foreign persons responsible for, complicit in, or who incited extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violations of human rights based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity;
- Deny or rescind visas to individuals placed on the list, with waivers for national security or to allow attendance at the United Nations;
- Allow for a person to be removed from the list if the president determines that credible information exists that the person did not engage in the alleged activity, has paid an appropriate consequence for the behavior, or if the person has credibly demonstrated a significant change in behavior;
- Require a section on LGBT international human rights to be included in the annual State Department Report on Human Rights; and
- Require the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to designate a staffer responsible for tracking violence, criminalization, and restrictions on the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms in foreign countries based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.