WASHINGTON D.C. (Worthy News)– As the nation celebrates National LGBT Pride Month, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, introduced legislation that would affirm LGBT human rights are a foreign policy priority for the United States government.
"Specifically, The International Human Rights Defense Act (S. 2472) would direct the Department of State to make preventing and responding to discrimination and violence against the LGBT community a foreign policy priority and devise a global strategy to achieve those goals," said in a news release by U.S. Senator Markey office.
"More than 80 nations around the world have laws that criminalize homosexuality, prohibit public support for the LGBT community, or promote homophobia. In seven countries, homosexuality is punishable by death. The adoption of these hateful laws has sped up in recent years, and the effects of discriminatory laws can be felt throughout society."
“For the United States to hold true to our commitment to defending the human rights of all people around the world, we must stand with the LGBT community in their struggle for recognition and equality everywhere,” said Senator Markey.
"The International Human Rights Defense Act will foster a coordinated effort across the federal government and relevant agencies so we can meet the enormous challenge before us and work to ensure equality for all people around the globe."
Last week, the U.S. ambassador to Israel hoisted a gay pride flag over an American embassy for the first time in history celebrating LGBT Pride Week with Israelis in Tel Aviv.
"For the first time in history, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has raised the Pride flag together with our American flag," Shapiro wrote. "We are proud to join with the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and its residents in celebrating LGBT Pride Week."
Original Co-sponsors of the bill introduced: Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)