President Biden on Tuesday in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly spoke in support of LGBTQ rights around the world, specifically calling out anti-LGBTQ crackdowns in Chechnya and Cameroon.
“We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear, whether it’s Chechnya, or Cameroon, or anywhere,” he said, speaking shortly after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights, addressed the General Assembly.
“As we pursue diplomacy across the board, the United States will champion the democratic values that go to the very hear of who we are as a nation and a people – freedom, equality, opportunity, and a belief in the universal rights of all people,” he said, putting LGBTQ rights in the context of human rights.
The LGBTQ organization Human Rights Campaign thanked Biden for calling attention to anti-LGBTQ violence.
Thank you, @POTUS, for recognizing the urgent need to protect members of the LGBTQI community abroad, especially in countries where there is a threat of danger from their government and extremist groups in your speech to the @UN. pic.twitter.com/JZsvUv5kWf
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 21, 2021
But not everyone was a fan of Biden’s speech. The Log Cabin Republicans – an organization for LGBTQ Republicans – fired off a statement denouncing the president for calling on the world to defend LGBTQ rights without mentioning Donald Trump.
“President Trump pushed an historic and unprecedented campaign at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world,” Log Cabin President Charles Moran said. “Sadly, President Biden addressed the U.N. today and tragically failed to mention the Decriminalization campaign at all.”
“President Biden could have created an uncomfortable moment for those countries in attendance who criminalize us; instead, he prioritized applause over principle, which helps no one,” he said.
According to LGBTQNation: “Trump’s supposed campaign to decriminalize homosexuality was announced by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell in 2019 and resulted in no successes and almost no action. International human rights activists said that they weren’t aware of anything that the campaign did, saying that it didn’t even provide funding to local LGBTQ activists who could use resources as they work for reform in their countries and that the U.S. was already opposed to the criminalization of homosexuality before Trump took office anyway.”
“In fact, the most public action taken as part of the decriminalization campaign was an optional panel at a U.N. conference in 2019 that Trump did not attend. But the Trump administration made sure that U.S. pastor Johnnie Moore attended, and Moore has called ‘homosexual experimentation’ an ‘epidemic,’ said that Katy Perry will “alter the healthy development of our nation’s kids” by turning them gay, and supported the ban on transgender service members in the military.”
In just a few short months, The Biden administration has quickly worked to reverse Trump’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, which was comprised of anti-LGBTQ activists, and the Biden State Department has allowed U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow flag again, even in countries that criminalize homosexuality.
Moran also slammed out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “His silence on gays and lesbians being hunted down in Afghanistan and his inability to impact President Biden to prioritize Decriminalization at the UN is a growing problem.”