Speaking at the United Nations on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said that the United States stands in solidarity with LGBT people being persecuted in nations that prohibit same-sex relations.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump told the audience. “And we stand in solidarity with LGBT people who live in countries that punish, jail, and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

The speech marked a first for the president, who had previously only acknowledged the initiative on Twitter.

The effort, announced in February following a reported execution of a gay man in Iran, is being helmed by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-ranking openly gay person in the Trump administration.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told the Washington Blade that the initiative was included in the speech because “it was an opportunity to deliver an important message to world leaders and a global audience that the U.S. will not stand for the criminalizing of homosexuality.”

Same-sex relations are outlawed in over 70 nations.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, pointed to Trump's domestic record on LGBT rights in criticizing his comments.

“Trump has no credibility to speak about LGBTQ human rights abroad when he has done so much to damage them here at home, from banning trans people from the military to proposing that medical providers can deny care to LGBTQ patients and permitting federal contractors to fire employees for being LGBTQ,” David Stacy, government affairs director at HRC, said in a statement.