President Joe Biden has vowed to protect LGBTQIA+ people from being “prosecuted or targeted with violence because of who they are”.
The Democrat spoke at the UN General Assembly on 19 September ahead of a speech from Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
He promised to “uphold equal and inalienable rights” on a global scale while condemning human rights abuses taking place throughout the world.
Biden continued: “We have to continue working to ensure that women and girls enjoy equal rights and equal participation in their society; that indigenous groups, racial, ethnic, religious minorities, people with disabilities do not have their potential stifled by systemic discrimination, that the LGBTQI+ people are not prosecuted or targeted with violence because of who they are.”
The 80-year-old added that “these rights are part of our shared humanity” and asserted that “when they’re absent anywhere, their loss is felt everywhere.”
“They are essential in the advancement of human progress that brings us together,” he continued.
Joe Biden has taken steps to protect LGBTQIA+ rights in the US
Two years ago, Biden signed a memo committing the US to promoting LGBTQIA+ rights abroad as part of his government’s foreign policy.
He has frequently spoken out in favour of advancing equality, though he has led the US during some of the fiercest legislative attacks LGBTQIA+ people have faced from Republicans in recent decades.
These include several states introducing restrictions on drag, some limiting discussions on LGBTQIA+ identities in schools and others attacking gender-affirming healthcare.
In a bid to protect same-sex marriage in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last summer, Biden signed landmark legislation requiring all states to recognise it.