Representative Cicilline Introduces the Global Respect Act

Washington, D.C. –  Human Rights First today welcomes the introduction of the Global Respect Act, a bill to 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 today by David N. Cicilline (D-RI) along with 12 original cosponsors.

“This bill is an important step in ensuring that the individuals responsible for egregious human rights violations against LGBT people are held to account for their crimes,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “We applaud Representative Cicilline’s leadership to ensure that the United States continues to promote safety, freedom and equality for all people.”

“The United States and the international community have a responsibility to condemn horrific acts of discrimination and targeted violence against all individuals, including egregious offenses based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Cicilline. “The Global Respect Act will protect the rights of the LGBT community across the globe and uphold America’s commitment to defending basic human rights in all corners of the world.”

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.

Published on June 19, 2014


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