Joe Biden Asks Americans, And Trump, To Take A Stand Against The Persecution Of LGBT People Worldwide

Joe Biden/Twitter

Former Vice President Joe Biden marked today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia with a rousing op-ed published by the Washington Post in which he called on Americans to “stand with LGBT people around the world” and fight against anti-LGBT hate that exists globally and at home in the US.

Here’s an excerpt from his op-ed:

Progress doesn’t happen by chance. It happens because good people come together and demand change. And any person of conscience, regardless of their religious or partisan beliefs, should be able to agree: Violence against any person, in any form, is intolerable. No one should be killed, tortured, assaulted or harassed because of who they are.

Yet, in Syria and Iraq, LGBT individuals face terror and torture, often at the hands of the Islamic State. Countries such as Russia — where appalling reports recently surfaced that authorities in Chechnya were imprisoning and torturing individuals believed to be gay or bisexual — Uganda and Tanzania continue to be openly hostile to LGBT people, and their political leaders have used anti-American sentiment to fuel anti-LGBT hate. And in many parts of the world, the horrific assault of “corrective rape” is used as an extreme form of conversion therapy to try to turn women straight.

Progress is possible. But we cannot wait, we cannot stand by. Governments, including ours, can wield the levers of diplomacy, defense and foreign aid to promote and protect the human rights of all people. The foreign-policy community can further incorporate and highlight LGBT equality in broader conversations about global health, gender-based violence, and human rights.