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Trump officials call on 69 countries to decriminalize homosexuality

Trump officials call on 69 countries to decriminalize homosexuality

U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell (C) attends a reception for the internaitonal diplomatic corps hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Schloss Meseberg palace on July 6, 2018, near Gransee, Germany. . | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Trump administration is calling on 69 countries that criminalize homosexuality to expand protections for citizens who identify as LGBT, a call that is backed by at least one conservative evangelical leader.

Openly gay U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, and State Department Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Robert Destro, participated in a special meeting Wednesday sponsored by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

The three joined other diplomats in criticizing U.N. member states that criminalize homosexuality and same-sex relationships as LGBT individuals across the globe are at risk of being imprisoned or sentenced to death. 

In a tweet Wednesday, Craft stressed that “no person should be harmed, tortured or killed because of their sexual orientation.”

“[Y]et at least 69 countries criminalize homosexuality,” she wrote. “Our event today at the [United Nations] showed our commitment to defending human dignity & partnering with #LGBTQ groups to decriminalize homosexuality.”

The meeting comes as the Trump administration vocalized its intent earlier this year to launch a campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality. 

“Individual men and women around the world have faced — and continue to face — punishment and even death, specifically because of their sexual orientation,” Craft was quoted as saying by Fox News. “This is a wrong we should seek to right, and it is a wrong I am personally committed to helping right.”

Grenell read aloud a list of nations that either outlaw homosexuality or persecute LGBT individuals in some form. According to Fox News, such countries include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Kenya, Senegal, Cameroon, Antigua, Barbuda, Syria and Yemen, among dozens of others.

The meeting was attended by Johnnie Moore, an evangelical public relations executive who has often informally engaged with the Trump administration. He also serves as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

In a tweet, Moore mentioned that he was there on behalf of USCIRF and as an evangelical to “call for the global repeal of all laws which imprison, torture & execute homosexuals.”

“We are building a broad alliance around an area of profound agreement rather than on the contentious edges on the broader discussions,” Moore told The Christian Post. “Everyone can agree that no one in the world should be imprisoned, tortured or executed…

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