An LGBTQ rights group expressed skepticism Thursday of a reported marketing campaign by the Trump administration to decriminalize homosexuality all over the world, after President Donald Trump expressed no information of the plan.
“We now have quite a lot of questions on their intentions and commitments and are desperate to see what proof and motion will observe,” mentioned Jeremy Kadden, senior worldwide coverage advocate with the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Marketing campaign.
Kadden added that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have “turned away LGBTQ individuals fleeing violence and persecution and despatched them again to international locations that criminalize them, and have persistently labored to undermine the basic equality of LGBTQ individuals and our households right here at residence from day one.”
Jerri Ann Henry, govt director of Log Cabin Republicans, a nonprofit group representing LGBTQ conservatives, mentioned, “I hope [Trump’s] feedback had been only a mistake. In the event that they weren’t, that might be extraordinarily disappointing.”
Henry added she could be watching intently to see that this plan “consists of actual motion.”
NBC on Tuesday first reported the administration’s marketing campaign to finish criminalization of homosexuality worldwide.
In an interview with NBC, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell introduced the marketing campaign and mentioned the administration had robust backing for the plan at residence from Republicans and spiritual conservatives.
Grenell, rumored to be a candidate for the subsequent U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is the highest-profile brazenly homosexual particular person within the administration.
Trump: Which report?
When VOA requested the president Wednesday concerning the decriminalization marketing campaign, he appeared to don’t have any information of it:
“I do not know which report you are speaking about,” Trump mentioned. “We now have many experiences.”
State Division spokesman Robert Palladino acknowledged that Grenell had a “technique assembly” with European LGBTQ activists, calling it “a great alternative to pay attention and to debate concepts about how the USA can advance decriminalization of homosexuality all over the world.”
Grenell had invited activists from the LGBTQ neighborhood in Europe, together with the Lithuanian Homosexual League, to a dinner at his Berlin residence Tuesday to debate the difficulty.
On Twitter, the Lithuanian Homosexual League known as on European Union member states to “help the U.S. authorities international marketing campaign to finish the criminalization of homosexuality,” and thanked Grenell for “main this human rights effort.”
The White Home has not responded to VOA about whether or not the president was briefed on the initiative. The State Division did reply to VOA’s question however was elusive about Trump’s having been knowledgeable, or whether or not there had been coordination with the White Home on the matter.
Marketing campaign in opposition to Iran?
Earlier this month, Grenell wrote an op-ed column in a German publication condemning a public hanging of a homosexual man by the federal government of Iran, calling it a “wake-up name for anybody who helps primary human rights.”
Sexual activity between two males is punishable by loss of life within the Islamic Republic.
The timing of Grenell’s column and his push to globally decriminalize homosexuality has fueled hypothesis that the motive behind the marketing campaign is to get European allies to additional isolate Iran, Washington’s geopolitical foe.
“I feel the considerations which have been raised stem from the obvious instigating execution in Iran,” Henry mentioned, including that she needed to see all international locations held accountable, not simply Iran.
The administration has typically condemned what it calls the Iranian regime’s acts of oppression in opposition to its personal individuals, and has made getting powerful on Iran the centerpiece of its international coverage.
In Out journal, a month-to-month LGBTQ publication, journalist Matthew Rodriguez wrote, “Reasonably than truly being about serving to queer individuals all over the world, the marketing campaign seems extra like one other occasion of the suitable utilizing queer individuals as a pawn to amass energy and enact its personal agenda.”
The administration has a lower than stellar popularity with the LGBTQ neighborhood.
In response to the Trump Accountability Venture, a media-monitoring effort that catalogs anti-LGBTQ statements and actions of Trump and his associates, the administration has issued “greater than 94 assaults in opposition to LGBTQ People in coverage and rhetoric” since Trump took workplace.
VOA’s Nike Ching contributed to this report.