Forty-seven congressional Democrats
have called on the Trump administration to include LGBT people in its
efforts to assist with the coronavirus pandemic in other nations.
Nevada Representative Dina Titus and
Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey are leading the effort.
The lawmakers made their case in a
letter released Thursday, the
The United State's international
response to the coronavirus crisis “will be seen as a test of our
country's commitment to the protection of human rights and American
values of fairness and equality,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers called on the
administration to “intervene at senior levels with governments that
are using the COVID-19 crisis to persecute or discriminate against
LGBTQI and other marginalized communities.”
The letter also highlighted other forms
of discrimination affecting LGBT communities. One example given was
gender-based COVID-19 lockdowns – only men or women may leave the
home on certain days – in Panama and Colombia that have resulted in
the arrest and harassment of people who identify as transgender or
LGBT people should not be excluded from
health services provided by the United States in other countries, the
“LGBTQI people and other vulnerable
populations face stigma and discrimination in obtaining healthcare
services, especially in countries where same-sex sexual conduct or
non-normative gender expression is criminalized,” the letter
states. “This hinders access to lifesaving healthcare services and
puts their lives at even greater risk during this pandemic.”
letter is addressed to the Department of State and the U.S.
Agency for International Development.