Sen. Amy Klobuchar and 13 fellow Senators have urged the State Department to support LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.
Senator Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, signed a letter calling upon Biden and secretary of State Antony Blinken to offer protection of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.
The opening of the letter requests for the State Department to take swift action to implement President Biden’s expansive commitment to “pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.”
The senators’ letter also calls upon the need for additional steps to support LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. It is believed that close to 11,400 total LGBTQ+ asylum applications were filed in the US from 2012 to 2017.
Taking to Twitter, Senator Klobuchar further her message of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community: “The United States has been a beacon of hope for many LGBTQ migrants escaping persecution. The State Department must continue their efforts to support these asylum seekers.
Alongside Senator Klobuchar, these senators also signed the letter calling for protections for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers: Richard Blumenthal, Cory A. Booker, Sherrod Brown, Richard J. Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jacky Rosen, Bernard Sanders, Tina Smith, Elizabeth Warren, Alex Padilla, Edward J. Markey, and. Patty Murray.
In February, President Biden called upon US agencies abroad to “promote and protect the human rights” of LGBTQ+ individuals across the globe.
Biden issued a memorandum on advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people worldwide.
The released memorandum is one of Biden’s latest presidential actions to support the queer community, including reversing the trans military ban and pledging to pass the Equality Act within the first 100 days of taking office.
Biden’s new actioned policy solidifies his promise to fight against concerning levels of violence and discrimination faced by the community.
In the memorandum, President Biden calls for agencies and departments to help combat the criminalisation of LGBTQ+ individuals abroad, to protect vulnerable LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, to aid with foreign assistance, to swiftly react to LGBTQ+ abuse cases abroad, and to build a coalition of nations and international organisation to fight against LGBTQ+ discrimination.