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The National Black Justice Coalition Supports Biden/Harris Presidential Memorandum on Global LGBTQ+ Equality

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the National Black Justice Coalition released a statement in full support of the presidential memorandum that President Biden signed supporting LGBTQ+ rights and equality abroad. 

President Biden’s presidential memorandum has the potential to help reunite families separated by the need to seek asylum in the US due to dangerous country conditions, stimulate economies, and provide safety for U.S. residents traveling internationally as well as asylum seekers looking to seek refuge in our country,“ said David J. Johns, executive directive National Black Justice Coalition. 

This memorandum builds on guidance first issued by President Obama in 2011, and directs relevant federal agencies to advance protections for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex+ (LGBTQI+) people abroad. It restores clarity to the U.S. position on LGBTQI+ rights abroad, by directing departments and agencies to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promotes and protects the rights of LGBTQI+ people.  The memorandum also describes opportunities to: combat the criminalization of LGBTQI+ status or conduct, enhance diplomatic responses to protect human rights abuses of LGBTQI+ people, build coalitions with civil society and international organizations, require annual reporting by the State Department on human rights abuses experienced by LGBTQI+ people globally, and rescind inconsistent policies within 100 days of signing.

“Our nation recently acknowledged the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans being made into slaves first in Virginia. Many Black Americans joined “Year of Return” activities in West Africa. For some Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+/same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) Americans, choosing to participate in these activities meant also choosing to risk jail or death due to laws that make having LGBQ+/SGL relationships and transgender/non-binary identities illegal,” continued Johns. “It is our hope that this executive action creates the context for “anti-homosexuality” and “cross-dressing prohibition” laws to become obsolete.“

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.