Reconstructing Judaism & The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association have signed on to the LGBTQI+ rights CSO letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
We wanted to pass along our deep gratitude for the support of 111 organizations regarding the community ask of $40m for the State Department’s Global Equality Fund and $30m for USAID Inclusive Development Hub’s Protection of LGBTQI+ Persons, alongside human rights reporting language. This is a historic level of support for these funding streams from the broader human rights, international development, and faith-based community.
These funding streams are so vital, especially as we see a slew of anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric, violence, and legislation sweeping across the globe. Last Tuesday, the Ugandan Parliament passed one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ bills – the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 – on record that expanded on the already existing criminalization statutes in the country to include broader prohibitions on same-sex conduct, as well as criminalizing the “promotion of homosexuality” or providing financial support to LGBTQI+ organizations. This language puts several U.S. foreign assistance programs at great risk, including the $400m PEPFAR program in Uganda.
We are overwhelmed with the community support for these programs, particularly as we enter a new dynamic on the Hill that threatens the progress Congress has made since FY19 in increasing the capacity of these programs. We look forward to working with Congressional champions to protect these funding streams and ensure that LGBTQI+ human rights defenders are provided with the necessary resources to address violence, stigma, and discrimination in their communities.