The Jacket Journal

Trump Administration Launches Global Decriminalization of Homesexuality

Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homsexuality after reported hanging of a young gay man in Iran

Sarah Newman, Staff Reporter

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Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay man who works within the Trump Administration, takes lead on the effort which launched February 19 in Berlin. This effort will focus on places like Africa, the middle east and the Caribbean.  The U.S. Embassy is flying an LGBT activist from across Europe to plan a push for decriminalization. ¨It’s concerning that, in the 21st century, seventy countries still criminalize LGBT status or conduct,” says the U.S. Official.

It’s concerning that, in the 21st century,  seventy countries still criminalize LGBT status or conduct. ”

— Richard Grenell

Grenell recognizes that pushing for decriminalization won’t be easy, however, we shouldn’t underestimate the U.S.´s ability to push for human rights. Last year on the International Day Against Homophobia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the United States firmly opposes criminalization, violence and serious acts of discrimination such as in housing, employment, and government services, directed against LGBTI persons. We use public and private diplomacy to raise human rights concerns, provide emergency assistance to people at risk, and impose visa restrictions and economic sanctions against those who persecute them.”

Iran is known for arresting and abusing their citizens with false accusations of prostitution, kidnapping, and pedophilia. Seventy-two countries and territories worldwide still hold same-sex relationships illegal, eight of those places hold such offenses punishable by death. In an op-ed article Grenell penned for a German news outlet, he said, “In Iran, children as young as nine can be sentenced to death, gay teenagers are publically hanged in order to intimidate others from coming out.”

Trump has come under fire for his anti-LGBTQ behavior recently, just last month the Supreme Court allowed Trump to impose a ban on trans soldiers from joining the military, which many argued was unconstitutional. In his first year of the administration, nearly one-third of his judicial nominees had anti-LGBTQ records. Trump was also criticized for not recognizing pride month.

Though the Republican party doesn’t seem to prioritize LGBTQ rights, Grenell says he is supported by both sides. “This is a bipartisan push, people understand-religious people, individuals who may not always be in the LGBTQ fight- they understand that criminalizing homosexuality is wrong.” Says Grenell in an interview in Berlin, “It is unbelievable to believe that in today’s world a 32 –year-old man in Iran can be hanged simply for being gay. That’s unacceptable.”

Despite Trump´s anti-LGBTQ behavior, Harvey Milk´s nephew, Stuart Milk, who is also an LGBTQ activist, has expressed his support by attending the dinner held in Berlin.

Regardless of Trump’s perceived anti-LGBTQ past, we should come together and hope that this push for human rights will be successful because young and innocent lives are at stake.

 

About the Writer
Sarah Newman, Staff Reporter

Sarah Newman is a sophomore at Woodford County High School, and this is her first year on The Jacket Journal staff. Her sister recommended that she should...

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Trump Administration Launches Global Decriminalization of Homesexuality