This action is in opposition to what we have seen since the election of President Donald Trump and his government.
Ambassador Grenell said he has the support of the White House although this initiative won’t erase the anti-LGBT movement launched by the Trump administration.
In my opinion, this is a personal effort of an openly gay ambassador. Sure, the US government has not objected it, but I think Trump doesn’t care as it will have no effect on LGBT rights in the United States.
“We’d believe that the Trump administration will work to protect LGBTQ people around the world if they had not attacked LGBTQ people in the U.S. over 90 times since taking office,” said GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, with whom I agree.
So what does this initiative consist of?
It’s about putting pressure on the 71 countries that are still criminalizing same-sex relationships.
It all began with a dinner between U.S. embassies in Europe, the State Department’s human rights bureau and LGBT activists from nine different countries to discuss the strategies that can be put in place.
In an interview in Berlin, Ambassador Richard Grenell said it won’t be easy:
“No one is saying this is going to be easy. We can have these conversations of human rights with our allies that clearly make homosexuality a crime and are not great on women’s rights as well. We have to be able to do both.”
He added that he had the support of several US Senators without giving their name:
“This is a bipartisan push. People understand — religious people, individuals who may not always be in the LGBTI fight — they understand that criminalizing homosexuality is absolutely wrong. It is unbelievable to believe that in today’s world a 32–year-old man in Iran can be hanged simply for being gay. That’s unacceptable.”
For now, this initiative is a good idea, but I’m waiting to see what actions will be taken.
Photo credit: Reto Klar/ Berliner Morgenpost/ FUNKE Foto Services