Discussion: The United States’ Role in Generating Debate on LGBT Rights

A Discussion With Global LGBT Rights Activists

Tuesday July 29, 2014

2:00pm to 3:30pm
2456 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

A briefing hosted by Advocates for Youth and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in conjunction with US Representatives David Cicilline, Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna and John F. Tierney.


  • Ariel Cerrud: Youth Activist Network Coordinator, Advocates for Youth
  • Lisbeth Melendez-Rivera: Director of Latino and Catholic Initiatives for the Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign
  • Shehnilla Mohamed: Africa Regional Coordinator, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

In cooperation with:

Representative David Cicilline
Representative Chris Gibson
Representative Richard Hanna
Representative John F. Tierney


LGBT people around the world face hostility, violence and bigotry that not only violate their basic human rights but can lead to murder, rape, torture, harassment, imprisonment, the loss of employment, and denial of access to medical treatment and education. In more than 80 countries, homophobia is officially sanctioned by law. Seven countries make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Only a handful of countries respect the right of trans persons to change gender identity markers on their official identification papers without the need for invasive surgery.

The United States is increasingly using its influence and diplomacy to protect the rights and lives of LGBT populations worldwide. Our efforts are hampered, however, by a lack of sustained attention and accountability. This situation would be ameliorated with bipartisan support and with the adoption both the International Human Rights Defense Act and the Global Respect Act.

This briefing will hear from experts and will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the feasibility and need for a Special Envoy on LGBT rights at the State Department.